Kaymer says he's better now than when he was world No. 1

Reuters News
Posted: May 20, 2014 11:35 AM

By Tony Jimenez

VIRGINIA WATER England (Reuters) - Martin Kaymer's victory in golf's so-called fifth major this month has not made him a "king or anything" but it reinforced the belief he is a better player than when he was world number one three years ago.

The German goes into this week's PGA Championship at Wentworth as one of the title favorites following his win at the Players Championship in Florida and it is not something that fazes him.

"I can now hit any shot that I want to hit, which is important, and I didn't believe that when I was number one in the world or even when I won the U.S. PGA Championship in 2010," Kaymer told reporters on Tuesday.

"It was very easy then for me to play golf but it was not satisfying so now I would say I'm a more complete player."

After a prolonged spell in the doldrums, Kaymer's triumph at Sawgrass has seen him rise to 28th in the rankings but he does not want people to think he can perform at that level every week he tees it up.

"It's very important we don't put it in the wrong perspective that I should play well every week," said the 29-year-old.

"You can only get disappointed otherwise and there is a lot of pressure the players have to handle. I think that's what people forget sometimes, it's not that easy."

Kaymer, who holed the putt that ensured Europe retained the Ryder Cup in Illinois two years ago, has played competitive golf for six of the last seven weeks and is looking forward to taking a break next week.

"That win at the Players took a lot out of me so that's why I feel the tank was a little bit empty last weekend," he said, referring to the closing 72 that gave him a share of 29th place at the Byron Nelson Championship in Texas.

"You can't force your body sometimes. You can force your mind but the body at one stage says 'that's enough'."

Kaymer, who is planning to spend time with Germany's footballers next week as they prepare for the World Cup in Brazil, was pictured sitting on the floor of Jacksonville Airport while waiting for a delayed flight after his Players Championship victory.

There was a suggestion in Tuesday's news conference that some of his sponsors may have been unhappy to see the German photographed adopting a less than flattering pose.

"That's just the way I am," said Kaymer. "I got a lot of text messages and I needed to charge my phone.

"I don't know what the problem is in sitting on the floor. I'm not a king or anything."

(Editing by Josh Reich)