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November 9, 2016

Martin Kaymer

Sun City, South Africa

Q. What's it like being back and experiencing a different setup this time as part of The Final Series?
MARTIN KAYMER: I must say the quality of the golf event hasn't really changed to be honest. I always wondered, the first time I came here was in 2011 and then 2012, they were brilliant events because it was very, very special to make it here; it was very difficult. And I thought maybe the quality and the service that we players enjoy every year might suffer a little bit.

But so far, it's been very good, and I'm very surprised the way The European Tour and the guys from Nedbank and Sun City, so far the way they have done it.

Q. It's always been special and important. Does it feel a little bit different with the larger field?
MARTIN KAYMER: To me, not really to be honest. In the end, if you have a field of 30 players or 70 players, it doesn't really make a big difference because you don't see most of the players anyways. Because it's so small, you can play practice rounds whenever you want; you don't really wait. It's a very luxury tournament that we play here.

Q. You've played already in a Pro-Am, so how was it out there?
MARTIN KAYMER: I think the golf course hasn't really changed much. The rough is a bit thicker I think than the last two, three years, so I assume that the winning score is not as low as it used to be. At least I hope, because in general all the tournaments that we played recently is all 20-, 25-under par.

I hope the Tour, everybody makes the golf course more difficult; that it's not only a putting competition; that you have to strike it well, and that is good on a golf course like this where you have to hit a lot of fairways. I enjoy tournaments like this a bit more.

Q. Does it help that you have the experience here, knowing how to win, given there are plenty of players coming here and seeing it for the first time?
MARTIN KAYMER: I think it's always an advantage if you've played a golf course before, and especially the way I played it before; that I could win here. Back then, I shot only 8-under par to win. Maybe I need to double this week.

It's always good to come back to a golf course where you have positive memories and it's a very nice environment. I feel like the South African people, they are very similar to the German culture, as well, in certain things. I really feel comfortable here in South Africa.

Q. What are those similarities?
MARTIN KAYMER: Well, it's just obviously the language, the Afrikaans. If the English struggles a little bit, even with some German words, I can get along here. And they are friendly. They are very happy that we come here and support golf in South Africa. The people in the hotel, when we say hi to each other, it's a big hug. It's quite nice. That's what the tournament is for us, it was really personal, back in 2011, 2012, you had time to sit down with the officials and get to know hem properly.

Q. How is your game, energy?
MARTIN KAYMER: Energy I would say like all the other guys, it's not 100 percent because it's the end of the year. But the good thing is we can put everything into those next two weeks, at least for me, and then I have quite some time off.

It's an important stretch this week and next week in terms of World Ranking points and Race to Dubai. I would love to finish in the Top-10 somehow. I look forward to play.

Q. You mentioned you like a tough course. What do you think they got right with this course that since 1978 it stayed relevant without too much needed to be changed to it?
MARTIN KAYMER: I think they can make it fairly tight, the golf course. Once you miss fairways, it's very difficult to miss the greens sometimes because the ball sits down in the rough, and then even to get it sometimes back on the fairway, I struggled a couple times today. So driving is a key this week, and they are fairly small greens.

I think they can protect the scoring very well if they put the pins in those corners. The 13th hole, for example, the par 4, uphill, if they put it in the back left section, if you miss the green on the left side, you can easily make bogey, and in reality you go for the flag. So it's not really a birdie hole. I think they can protect the golf course fairly well.

Q. Are you the type of player who needs to win in a season?
MARTIN KAYMER: For total satisfaction, you want to win. But it depends a little bit on the reasons why you haven't won. If you are in a working process for the future, it's okay. It's better to accept it.

If you are one of those people who are happy with maybe winning once a year and maybe just winning small events but that's it in your career, then that's okay, too.

I'm more the kind of guy who wants to win big tournaments but also win a few on the way there, and I haven't really done that the last couple years. And I actually thought about it when I was walking to the 16th hole. It's been quite a while that I won on The European Tour. My last tournament was the U.S. Open.

But I know what the reasons were, and that's why I decided to go back to America in the wintertime to practice properly on the short game, because that was mainly why I missed out. I had a lot of Top-10 finishes, but to get over line to win, or at least give it a chance on Sunday, the short game needs to be sharper. That's why I will focus more on that.

Q. That is constantly improving, isn't it?
MARTIN KAYMER: It's improving but it's not as good as the other guys. These days, what I said, my ball-striking is great. But on the courses that we play recently, you need to putt like a crazy person; 25, 26 putts, in order to win. I have an average of 29 or 30.

So for me as a player, I would love to have more difficult golf courses but these days they are too easy for the guys on the PGA and European Tour.

Q. Are you the type of player who can sense a victory coming, you know what I mean? Do you get that feeling of, it's coming, it's coming, it's coming?
MARTIN KAYMER: You have a feeling that you play solid, and the way I play now, I play solid. But you need just one tournament where your short game is a little better than the majority of the field.

In 2014 when I won THE PLAYERS and the U.S. Open, I could feel, I might have a chance to win, because I was finishing a lot in the Top-20s, Top-25, but nothing really went my way. And then all of a sudden at THE PLAYERS I putted really well, and ball-striking was still the same, but then I was really off.

So you sense it sometimes, but in the past, in 2010, when I had a few wins in a row, I didn't sense it at all. So I can't really tell what type of player I am, which is good.

Q. Why is putting -- putting is the easiest thing you do in golf, technically.
MARTIN KAYMER: You would think so.

Q. Why is it so hard?
MARTIN KAYMER: I think technically, it's the easiest thing but it has two components. It's the speed and the line, and sometimes you can read the putt well but you have the wrong speed, or the other way around.

So to have that perfectly right every single day, because our body changes every day, as well, I think it's very difficult. And that's why if you think that way, it gives you a little bit more freedom mentally; that this is not a constant. If you have a perfect putting stroke, you still need to read it perfect in order to make it.

So I think there's so many variables that we forget to put into consideration when we putt. You cannot just say, the swing is so short, it should be the easiest thing in golf, because there are so many other things that play a big role.

It's not only the stroke, you know. What a lot of people don't talk about is reading the putt well, taking the right line. That is sometimes even more important than hitting a perfect putting stroke.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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