Prior to the 2014 US Open Golf championship, the general consensus was that Rory McIroy may continue his recent good form by securing another major title with a likely challenge emanating from Phil Mickelson. Should Mickelson have prevailed he would join an elite group of golfers who had won all four major tournaments at some stage of their careers. At the half-way stage of the tournament, following two successive rounds of 65, the only talk was of the eventual winning lead by German Martin Kaymer.
Kaymer’s final eight stroke margin of victory in the US Open was even more decisive than predicted especially when joint second placed Erik Compton and Rickie Fowler, with totals of one under par, were the only other players to finish below even par for the tournament. The domination of Kaymer was such that his only 70+ round was recorded on the third day and his victory march was never seriously threatened from the opening round onwards.
Yet Kaymer is no stranger to winning majors as he proved in 2010 when securing the 2010 US PGA tournament after defeating Bubba Watson in a playoff. Only recently he won the prestigious Players Championship at Sawgrass in Florida to prove that the weekend victory was no fluke and he was also classified as World number one golfer for a short period in early February 2011.
The European Ryder Cup team was also indebted to Kaymer in 2012 when as part of the second last pairing he holed a putt at the 18th hole on the final day to beat Steve Stricker to help retain the trophy for Europe.
For a long time Bernhard Langer was considered as the only German golfer worthy of note but after his exploits this weekend following on from notable successes of previous seasons, Langer now has a worthy successor in the talented Kaymer. At only 29 year old, there are still many prosperous years ahead for Kaymer but he must now add a degree of consistency to his performances. During his early career he quietly accumulated several tournament victories on the European circuit but that has not always been the case.
There was a period after claiming the title as World best golfer, when Kaymer’s rise in the rankings was met with a similarly alarming slump in form when no amount of effort could signal a change in fortune. Additionally, his two major wins apart, the German has yet to feature as a serious challenger in seven rounds at the US Masters and a joint seventh is his best display to date at the British Open.
However, the last few weeks have proven that Kaymer has emerged once again as one of the leading contenders for tournament glory and should he add the consistency to his undoubted talent, he could soon follow in the footsteps of his fellow countryman Langer and win a US Masters title.