Mark Khan, Mecedes Golf Ambassador had an interview with PGA Champion Martin Kaymer at 2015 MercedesTrophy World Finals, Stuttgart, Germany.
Mark Khan: At beginning of the season in Abu Dhabi you had a 10 shot lead but ended up in a meltdown collapsing to third place. This became one of the biggest turnarounds the sport has seen. Eventually it led to losing your PGA Tour status. It seems the driver and bunkers provided you with a chance to reflect on what could have been. What did you learn from this experience?
Martin Kaymer: Abu Dhabi was a great learning experience for me. I never really screwed up a tournament before, especially not with 10 shot lead. But this time I did. I figured out the reasons afterwards. I sit down and reflected on the Sunday afternoon, the back nine. I found reasons and those are reasons that I keep for myself and I learned from it.
In the end of the day, what did I lose? I lost the trophy, I lost a little bit of money and somewhere ranking points. But that’s okay, I can live with all three of those. It was or it is very valuable for me what happened there for the future.
It is pretty simple why I lost my PGA status. I did not fulfill the membership and now I am suspended for a year. Obviously, I keep my membership because of the US Open that I won last year. Next year I cannot compete on the PGA tour but I can still play twelve tournaments in America. So my schedule won’t change a lot. Instead of 13 tournaments I played this year, I play twelve. It’s all good.
Mark Khan: You once commented The Masters in theory should be the easiest of all Majors due to limited field and repeatedly the same venue year after year. With two Majors to your credit (and the last once arguably overshadowed by Germany’s World Cup win), I am sure you would love to add the Masters to your collection. What can we expect from you in Augusta in 2016 and how are you preparing mentally and physically?
Martin Kaymer: Because you play the Masters on the same golf course every year, you could think it is easier to win. But that is not true. Somehow it is a tricky one and it is very tough to win. It is never easy to win a major and fortunately I was lucky enough to win already two with the PGA Championship in 2010 and then the US Open last year.
I will probably prepare for the Masters with working a little bit more on the short game. A couple weeks before the tournament you need to rest physically, because just walking the golf course is quite difficult and can be very exhausting. Mentally, it is very difficult because you always need to plan a shot, or a shot and a half in advance. So it is just a very difficult week. Yes, it would be very nice if one day I have the chance on Sunday afternoon to win the green jacket and add the Masters to my major collection.
Mark Khan: Since turning professional at the tender age of 20 you have won eleven tournaments and only the second German (after Bernhard Langer) to win a major championship. You also played a pivotal role to retain the Ryder Cup for Europe and successfully overturned a four-point deficit against the United States. What was it like to win as a young pro?
Martin Kaymer: When I started as a professional I wasn’t really aware of all the things that come with it. At the end of the day you think it’s just playing golf, going to different golf tournaments, play golf and that’s it. But when you become little bit better and win tournaments, all of a sudden… you have to deal with sponsors, with partnerships, with media! You need to grow as a person and learn to handle these things by yourself. You need to somehow be prepared for the things that come with the golf but has nothing to do with golf. You can’t be prepared for this100%, but you learn its that not all about a ball and a club.
Mark Khan: Speaking of sponsors and going beyond club and ball, can I ask what is your favorite car and why?
Martin Kaymer: My favorite car was the SLS AMG, but than last year I went to the MercedesTrophy World Final in Stuttgart. At the prize-giving ceremony I saw the S-Class Coupé on stage. Four months later I sat in the car myself and drove it. Since then I fell in love with it. It is not only fast which, you know….I don’t really drive that fast! But I enjoy that you can ride in it for hours and it is comfortable and I love the steering wheel. The steering wheel, I don’t know, there is something with it. I really enjoy that car. It can become a very classical car, it is the first coupé that they have done in the S-Class. So I would always go with that one. You never could go wrong with the S-Class coupé.