SOMETHING “stupid” from Scottish caddie Craig Connelly helped ensure Europe will be defending the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September.
The Glaswegian’s role in the dramatic victory at Medinah in the 2012 match was revealed by Martin Kaymer, his boss and a three-times winner of the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship.
“I have so much fun with Craig,” said the German of a partnership that is in its second spell after realising he had been wrong to split up with Connolly on the back of a successful 2010 campaign.
“It’s very important that you have someone you get along with, both on and off the golf course, as you can sometimes be travelling with them three or four weeks in a row.
“Craig is a really good character and fun, too. He’s not only a caddie in that he knows the golf course and how to play the game. He also tries to take a lot of stuff away which is not important, like distractions that he knows I don’t like, through experience and all the months and years we worked together.”
Connolly, who had a third spell with Paul Casey in between working for Kaymer, certainly knew the right things to say as the former world No 1 beat Steve Stricker in the singles to ensure Europe retained the Ryder Cup before winning it again in Chicago. “He helped a lot in the last three or four holes there,” added Kaymer. “For instance, he said something stupid – I can’t say the word here – on 15 or 16 and it helped relax me.”
Kaymer reckons it is “way too early” to fret over his hopes of being on the team for Gleneagles but admitted regaining a title won 12 months ago by Welshman Jamie Donaldson would be a perfect start along that path. “The goal is to play well step by step,” he said.