Hazeltine-bound: Martin Kaymer
As our series of profiles is rounded off with Darren Clarke’s three wildcard selections for The 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, we take a closer look at two-time Major Champion and three-time European team member, Martin Kaymer.
Born in Dusseldorf, Germany, in 1984, he took up the game after watching the likes of Seve Ballesteros and compatriot Bernhard Langer play on television with his father. Turned professional aged 20 in 2005, shot a magic 59 on the satellite EPD Tour the following year – including a bogey on the second hole – and then took advantage of an invitation to play on the Challenge Tour by winning two of his first four events en route to a fourth place finish in the Rankings. Won the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award after finishing 41st in his debut European Tour season in 2007 before capturing his maiden title at the 2008 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Narrowly missed out on a captain’s pick for The 2008 Ryder Cup but still played a role as a non-playing assistant to Sir Nick Faldo at Valhalla. Became just the second German after Langer to be crowned European Number One in 2010 following a season in which he claimed four titles – including his maiden Major at the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits – and made a successful Ryder Cup debut at Celtic Manor. Briefly held the World Number One spot in 2011, played a key role in ‘The Miracle at Medinah’ in 2012 and rediscovered his best form in 2014, first securing the coveted Players Championship on the US PGA Tour before a sensational wire-to-wire victory at the US Open Championship brought him a second Major title at Pinehurst.
European Tour appearances: 220
European Tour wins: 11
Top ten finishes: 64
Career earnings: €20,050,046
Ryder Cup record
Appearances: 3 (2010, 2012, 2014)
Overall record (W-L-H): 4-3-3
Total points: 5.5
Point percentage: 55 per cent
Ryder Cup highlights
- Won 2.5 points in his debut Ryder Cup appearance at Celtic Manor, with 1.5 of those coming alongside fellow captain’s pick Lee Westwood
- Holed a nerveless seven-foot putt to beat Steve Stricker by one hole and with it retained the Ryder Cup for Europe in a miraculous final-day comeback at Medinah in 2012
- Chipped in on the 16th hole at Gleneagles to beat Bubba Watson 4 and 2 in the Sunday singles in 2014
2016 qualification highlights
Despite needing a first wildcard pick to secure his fourth appearance in the blue of Europe in 2016, he had a highly consistent record during the qualification race. Started well with a second place finish in the 2015 Italian Open last September, before rounding off the 2015 season with a top ten spot in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. Only missed three cuts in 28 worldwide appearances during the points window and claimed nine top ten finishes with six of those coming in the last four months including a tied seventh place in the US PGA Championship at Baltusrol – his first Major top ten since winning the US Open in 2014.
Kaymer’s form during the points race: