Kaymer takes inspiration from Langer in US Open bid
By Jim Slater ,AFP
June 16, 2014, 12:06 am TWN
PINEHURST, North Carolina -- Martin Kaymer is taking inspiration from Bernhard Langer at the U.S. Open as he tries to match his countryman by winning a second major golf championship.
Kaymer fired a two-over par 72 Saturday to seize a five-stroke lead after 54 holes of the U.S. Open at formidable Pinehurst, where only two players cracked par in the third round.
The 29-year-old from Dusseldorf won his first major title at the 2010 PGA Championship and would like nothing better than to become the fourth European winner at the U.S. Open in five years.
"At the end of the day it comes down to the last five, six holes," Kaymer said. "Five shots — this morning I started with three bogeys, so that could be gone quickly."
But Kaymer is bolstered by messages of support from Langer, who won the 1985 and 1993 Masters.
"Bernhard has sent me very nice texts already," Kaymer said. "Just hearing something from him, obviously it gives you a lot of confidence and it's really nice of him.
"He doesn't have to do that, but he takes the time to send out a text and it does push me a little bit."
Kaymer, who sank the winning putt for Europe in an emotional 2012 last-day comeback victory over the United States in the Ryder Cup, dreams of joining Langer at the Masters champions dinner at Augusta National one day.
"I want to achieve similar things that he has achieved in his career," Kaymer said. "Even though it's very difficult to win at Augusta, to be the Ryder Cup captain, to play the Ryder Cup a few times, it's nice if somebody is trying to help and he's always there if I need something."
Langer wasn't there Saturday when Kaymer put his tee shot against a pile of pine straw and asked for relief, but fortunately his caddie, Scotsman Craig Connolly, was at his side.
"The struggle was I didn't really understand the English that the referee was trying to tell me," Kaymer said.
"So I said to my caddie you have to take over here, because he speaks better English than me, even though he's Scottish."
Poor Day Still OK
That brought a laugh but it was no joking matter until Kaymer sank a 20-foot putt to salvage a bogey, then answered with an eagle at the par-5 fifth.
"It's OK to hit some poor shots once in a while. You can't play every day great golf," Kaymer said. "Usually you have one of those poor days at one stage. The important thing is that you keep that poor day still OK. And that is what I did."
Kaymer hopes for more tough pin positions in Sunday's final round.
"It would be nice if they make it difficult again, because then it really becomes all about ball striking," Kaymer said. "It would be nice if we could have some kind of a chance once in a while. But that is what you get at the U.S. Open. You just have to play very well."