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July 15, 2009

Martin Kaymer


MARTIN PARK: Martin, welcome to Turnberry. Two wins in the last two weeks, a man on fire at the moment. You'd be very delighted if you took a third this week, I expect.
MARTIN KAYMER: Well, that's why I'm here. It's obviously very tough coming from winning weeks. Last week I felt really tired when I came to Loch Lomond. But I could manage to sleep a lot of hours. So I was ready to play on Thursday last week. And I slept a lot last week. I slept a lot the last couple days, so I think I will be fine on Thursday.
MARTIN PARK: Give us some thoughts on how you think the course sets up for your own particular game.
MARTIN KAYMER: Obviously there are a few tee shots that don't really suit my shape. My shape is usually left-to-right. There are a few holes you have to shape the ball right-to-left to manage to keep the ball in the fairway. For example, on No. 8, the par-4, quite long hole if you lay it up in front of the bunkers. It's a very difficult hole then. But that's the way I have to play the hole, probably. Usually the wind is left-to-right and the fairway slopes from left-to-right, all the bunkers on the right side, so for me it's a very difficult hole. And there are a few out there like this.

Q. You have to be at your peak to win on the European Tour, and you've been at your peak now two successive weeks. You need to be at your peak for a third week to triumph here. How difficult is it to maintain that level of mental and physical perfection?
MARTIN KAYMER: It's very, very difficult; especially this week here, it's a major. And it's all about patience, you know? And you can only be patient if you're mentally, 100 percent, there.
The last two weeks, they were really very difficult for me, because I was always in contention, and then finally I could win those tournaments, which took a lot of energy. And that's why I'm trying to sleep a lot, to get the energy back. I didn't play the golf course today. I was just practicing in the morning and walked the course to take it easy today.
Hopefully I can sleep well the next night and be ready for tomorrow. But the mental part is -- I think for the majors it's the most important.

Q. Is that a worry for you?

Q. The mental side of it.
MARTIN KAYMER: No, not at all.

Q. How much experience do you have on links courses as opposed to where did you grow up playing, obviously probably wasn't a links course. How much experience do you have on the links?
MARTIN KAYMER: Not a lot. I played a few times the British Boys, British Amateur, but it's a long, long time ago, like, six, seven years ago.
The last couple of years I played a few tournaments in Great Britain, like the Alfred Dunhill event that we used to play in October. And my experience -- I don't have a lot of experience, but I always like to come here because it's different golf. There's so much thinking. You can play the golf course in so many ways. You can hit driver on the tee or you can hit 2-irons. There's so many ways to play this golf course. And this is just fun to play golf, you know, to have many, many different options. And especially this week it's a very challenging week, again.

Q. Players often refer to knowing how to win. Why do you think you knew so early in your career, and who might have been the influences in making your mind strong?
MARTIN KAYMER: That's a difficult question. I think, yeah, the most important to win tournaments, I think, is to be calm and focusing on what it was you really want to do, that you shouldn't really think about let's say speeches or how people can react to if you win, what's going on after the tournament. You have to always stay in the present.
And I think I can handle it very well. I could handle it as an amateur already very well. And when I played on the Challenge Tour obviously it was very important for me to get on the European Tour. So that's why it was very important to win on the Challenge Tour in order to get on the European Tour the following year.
And you kind of learn it, how to react and how to -- how your body changed or your -- I don't know how, your swing changed, as well, if you're in contention. Everything is a little different. And if you know how to handle it and what will happen when you are in contention again or close to winning a tournament, then you can probably fix the problem. If it's a problem, you can fix it earlier and quicker.
But I think it's very important, as well, how you grew up. Like how you -- like your parents, how they raised you. And that's very important, too. And obviously the people around you, if they are calm people, a little freaky, if you say that. So I think everything, it's a combination of a lot of things.

Q. From what you've seen of the course so far, do you have a strategy in mind that you want to kick off with tomorrow?
MARTIN KAYMER: Yeah, of course I have a strategy. I'm probably going to play the first two days very defensive to get in position. And then we'll see where I am on Saturday. But I mean, those golf courses are very tough to -- you have to have a strategy before you -- like on Wednesday or Tuesday, very difficult because it all depends on the weather. It can be like this tomorrow, and then you have to play -- you will play automatically a little more aggressive, because you can. And then it can be horrible weather tomorrow where you have to play a little more defensive to keep the balls in the fairway, in the middle of the greens and make your par. So there are many ways how you can play the golf course, but probably I will play the golf course a little bit more defensive the first two days.

Q. You've come a long way in a very short time. In terms of German sportsmen, you've won more titles than Sebastian Vettel has won Grand Prix at the moment. Are you famous in Germany for what you've achieved? And how are you being treated over here? Do people recognise you? Do people come up and ask you for autographs?
MARTIN KAYMER: I wouldn't say I'm really famous in Germany. I mean, people are not recognising me on the street. Obviously when we're playing golf on different golf courses in Germany, people recognise me and when I have autographs and all that stuff. But that's fine, no problem at all.
And out here, yeah, it's nice to go to the tournaments, like big names are coming up to you. Ernie Els came up to me in the locker room and he said, well done the last couple of weeks, it's awesome. And a lot of players have done that before. Nick Faldo, he came up to me, and Greg Norman, big names. So it's fun.

Q. You chose to sign with a small Swedish agent, Sportyard. How important have they been for your development?
MARTIN KAYMER: Well, it took me a little bit to find the right management. And we're together now for almost two years, and, well, I'm really, really happy. The way how they treat us, the players, how they organise things, it's very, very good. Like the way how we did it before, like my family did it with me before, it's very similar. And very nice and calm people. They know the business very well. So I don't think that I could have better management at the moment.

Q. Do you have a benefit seeing your friend, Stefan Gross, and walking around one round with him on the course so that you can talk about what it is to do. Any profit off that, or is it only a profit for Stefan?
MARTIN KAYMER: For me it's definitely a profit that I can speak German again. I haven't spoken German for a while.
It's always nice to see him playing well. He obviously won the European Championship, the individual, to qualify here. When we played yesterday we talked about the course. He had some ideas that I didn't see. So we help each other very much.

Q. From what I've read you've been a fan of Ernie Els since you were a child, is that right?
MARTIN KAYMER: Yeah, correct.

Q. What was it about him that grabbed you and when?
MARTIN KAYMER: Just have a look at the range and see him swing. There you go. And obviously I didn't know him when I came on Tour.
And then I've had the honour to play with him a few times, and I had the possibility to meet him as a person. And I think he is just full, the full package, the full thing. Such a nice guy, nice character, great swing, great player. So just a very nice human being.

Q. Winning the French and the Scottish, two huge, big events, have you got plans to celebrate once this is all out of the way, have a real big party?
MARTIN KAYMER: Well, the way I celebrated in France was very weird. My father, he came over for the weekend, and we drove -- like my father and me drove to France. And on the way back we stopped at the gas station, just had a drink there. And we were like, "Cheers, well done." All right, let's go. Let's go home again.
So that was a very small celebration. But I have the next two weeks off and I will go to America, to Scottsdale, and then I will definitely celebrate there with a few friends.
MARTIN PARK: Martin, thanks very much for coming. Best of luck to you.

End of FastScripts

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