Losing PGA Tour card blessing in disguise - Kaymer

Former champion Martin Kaymer talks to the media prior to the first practice round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Picture: Getty Images
Former champion Martin Kaymer talks to the media prior to the first practice round of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Picture: Getty Images
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CONFIDENT that Germany will win the battle to stage the 2022 Ryder Cup, Martin Kaymer has insisted that losing a PGA Tour card is a “positive” in his bid to deliver another dagger in Davis Love’s heart in the next transatlantic tussle.

Kaymer, who holed the putt that won the trophy for Europe as they pulled off the “Miracle at Medinah” in 2012, has lost his PGA Tour membership for next year after a failure to qualify for the end-of-season FedEx Cup Play-Offs left him two short of the required 15 events.

The Ryder Cup brings something special out of you

Martin Kaymer

Instead of seeing it as a blow, however, the two-times major winner reckons the situation could be a blessing in disguise for next year’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine, where Love, the losing captain when Kaymer kept his nerve to hole a six-foot putt on the last green in Chicago, will serve a second stint as US captain.

“I think the PGA Tour make it a bit difficult for the European guys who don’t live in America,” said Kaymer, speaking in the build-up to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which he won in 2010, of losing his status on the lucrative US circuit. “When you play on both Tours living in America, it’s a bit easier because some of the tournaments that count for both Tours are in America. However, nothing really changes for me. Instead of playing 13 tournaments over there, as I did this year, I will play 12 next season, which is not a bad thing at all as I can focus more on the points for the Ryder Cup. So, while my situation was written about negatively, I see it as a positive.”

Twelve months on from a resounding win over the Americans at Gleneagles, a number of the players in that triumphant European team – such as Lee Westwood, Jamie Donaldson, Thomas Bjorn, Victor Dubuisson and Stephen Gallacher – are struggling to find form heading into the “Final Series”, in which the race to make Darren Clarke’s team will start to gather momentum.

“We always have a bit of a low between Ryder Cups,” said Kaymer, who has faced the Americans in the last three contests and emerged as a winner on each occasion, in playing down cause for concern over that. “But, when it comes to the tournaments, we are ready to play. The Ryder Cup brings something special out of you. It’s probably the passion, the honour, the pride. All those things give you that little bit extra percentage that you need.”

Due to be announced within the next few weeks, Germany is facing stiff competition from Austria, Spain and Italy in the fight for the 2022 Ryder Cup. However, Kaymer believes a recent decision by the German government to introduce a tax exemption in line with the other bidders could be crucial.

“We are very confident,” declared the 30-year-old. “Getting government support was always tricky, but we’ve now got that, which means money for Team Europe, Team America and the Ryder Cup. I think we really deserve to get it and it will be very disappointing if we don’t.”