/ Golf

Martin Kaymer hoping to rediscover that winning feeling

Updated: Thursday, 18 Feb 2016 21:05 | Comments

Martin Kaymer hasn't had a tour win since his 2014 US Open triumph
Martin Kaymer hasn't had a tour win since his 2014 US Open triumph

Former world number one Martin Kaymer hopes a clear head can help him secure a first victory for almost two years in the Maybank Championship Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

Kaymer has not won since claiming the second of his major titles in the 2014 US Open at Pinehurst, where he led from start to finish just five weeks after doing the same in the Players Championship at Sawgrass.

The 31-year-old squandered a 10-shot lead in the final round of the Abu Dhabi Championship in 2015 and lost a play-off in the Italian Open later the same season, while he also lost his full playing privileges on the PGA Tour after a failuire to qualify for the FedEx Cup play-offs meant he could not play enough events to fulfil the membership criteria.

That, at least, means more appearances in European Tour events and the world number 36 is hoping to make up for a missed cut in the Dubai Desert Classic with a strong performance at Royal Selangor.

"I've played many times in Malaysia, but this has to be my favourite course here," the Ryder Cup star said. "It's definitely my kind of course. I grew up playing tree-lined courses, so in some ways this place reminds me of home - although it's a little bit warmer here.

"You really need to move the ball both ways, and I enjoy the challenge of shaping your shots. You need to hit lots of fairways and then wait for your chances to come along, so it's a fun course to play.

"The golf course suits me. I had a very nice group in the pro-am yesterday, we're staying in a nice hotel, the food is good and everyone seems very happy and smiling, so I have no reason not to relax and feel happy. You always expect a lot from yourself, but hopefully I can handle that this week.

"I practised hard over the winner, sometimes it pays off straight away and other times it takes longer. The last few years I've managed to get off to a fast start, especially in Abu Dhabi, but this time I've struggled to find my rhythm so I took time off last week and went on holiday and it really helped to clear my head."

Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley, current captain and former British Open winner Darren Clarke and fellow Irishmen Niall Turner and Michael Hoey are all also in action in Kuala Lumpur

Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat should be on holiday himself this week. In fact, the 26-year-old should be on his honeymoon after marrying his partner Tunyatorn Chaiyarat on Valentine's Day.

"I've been staying in contact with my wife on social media," said Aphibarnrat, who won the first of his three European Tour titles in Kuala Lumpur in 2013.

"She teaches in Thailand, so unfortunately she can't come this week because her students have exams next week. I don't want to keep reminding my wife about the fact that we were meant to be on honeymoon this week, because she will get angry with me, but she also understands my work."

Former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen also tasted success in Kuala Lumpur in 2012 after losing out to Bubba Watson in a play-off for the Masters the previous week.

And the South African is hoping similar travel problems are a good omen as he looks to bounce back from also missing the cut in Dubai.

"I left my house (in Florida) at 4.50am on Sunday morning, but only arrived here at 9am on Tuesday because I was delayed in New York and then again in Dubai," Oosthuizen explained. "It's just one of those things, with the amount of travelling we do it's bound to happen at some time.

"Hopefully it's a good omen after what happened four years ago when we couldn't get out of Augusta on the Sunday night because the play-off finished late, and I didn't end up arriving here until the Wednesday. At least this time I've given myself an extra 24 hours to prepare."

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use