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January 22, 2011

Martin Kaymer


SCOTT CROCKETT: Martin, thank you very much, as always, for coming in and joining us and another fantastic performance. Goes without saying, you must be absolutely delighted, not only with today but where you are in the tournament as a whole.
MARTIN KAYMER: Yeah, the great thing is I made only one bogey so far, and that was the first day. I played very consistent. I made a lot of birdies the last three days.
My putting is very good. I didn't play as good as yesterday I think. I missed a lot of fairways but I got away with it. I don't know, for some reason that, golf course likes me a lot that I got away with a few shots.
SCOTT CROCKETT: And another great finish with three birdies in the last four holes that, must have particularly pleased you.
MARTIN KAYMER: I hit a very good golf shot on 15, the par 3. Hit a solid and big 9-iron to get there. 17 and 18, yeah, the birdie was great to make a longer putt and 18 was just two putts for birdie.
Obviously I saw Rory, he was going wild in the end little bit, so I figured I needed a couple more birdies.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Gives you a nice cushion, you're in two balls tomorrow with Rory. Heading into a match-play scenario, isn't it.
MARTIN KAYMER: I look really forward to it. Last year we played together already and it was fun. He's one of the nicest guys on Tour. Young guy, and I get along with him very well. I think it's going to be a great challenge tomorrow. He is not going to back up. He will go for everything.
And you know, I'm leading by five now, yes, but everybody who knows Rory can shoot 5- , 6-under the first nine holes, if I don't play well enough. It will definitely be a great round. Leading by five gives me a cushion there but it will be a good challenge.

Q. Can I ask you a question that might test your memory? I worked out that you're 74-under par over the national course and you mentioned today that you have one bogey this week; do you know how many bogeys you've had? I've got you --
MARTIN KAYMER: The last five years I come here? (Sighing). I would say 15?

Q. So you probably made about 90 birdies then in that case.
MARTIN KAYMER: Do you know how many bogeys I made? (Laughter) If you're going to ask me a question and don't know the answer --

Q. I thought you knew the answer and just thought of it.
MARTIN KAYMER: I don't know. (Laughter).

Q. But will it be very many, do you think?
MARTIN KAYMER: Well, I think I made plenty of birdies, yeah, and not so many bogeys. But my first year when I missed the cut here, I think I made a few bogeys.
SCOTT CROCKETT: We'll count them up for you, Bill, later. Nothing else to do. (Laughter).

Q. All of the holes have been reasonably kind to you here, but do you have a favourite?
MARTIN KAYMER: Yeah, 18. I think fantastic hole. The last couple of times when I won here, I always got that picture when I hit my second shot towards the green and I just like that look. I don't know why, but it feels a little like home, like playing my home golf course here. And 18 is definitely my favourite one.

Q. You've got a five-shot lead, still a long way to go of course but when your closest rival sort of says you're unbeatable around this golf course and it's going to be very hard to beat you tomorrow, what do you think when you hear that?
MARTIN KAYMER: Well, yes, it will be difficult. I play good golf, and then if I shoot under 70 tomorrow, then it will be very difficult for Rory to catch me.
But you know, I'm not a machine. I'm not a robot. I can shoot a bad score, as well. I haven't shot too many bad scores on that golf course but everything can happen.
Of course I'm not hoping for it and I'm not expecting myself to play over 70 tomorrow, but if it happens, it happens. I feel comfortable about it, and obviously it's nice to know that the guys have respect, you know.

Q. Rory also said he's surprised, given the time off he's had, to be in this position. Are you surprised, as well?
MARTIN KAYMER: Yeah, very surprised, because I didn't practise a lot in the wintertime. I was taking a lot of time off. Just the last ten day, I was getting into golf a little bit more but I was not really expecting myself to play that well and that consistent again, especially not my putting. In general my short game has been very good.

Q. People have said that you kind of have to hit the fairway around this course and yesterday today you make quite a few of your birdies from what look like terrible lies in the rough. Like 11 and 17, did you get a bit lucky there?
MARTIN KAYMER: Yeah, on 11, there was a bad lie, but I think I got away with that birdie big time. I would say that was a lucky birdie.
On 17, that was an okay lie and I could go straight at the flag. I pulled it a little bit, but it's just about my putting this week. I've made a lot of putts. Some unexpected birdies, and I made a few long ones this week, as well. And that's why I think I'm leading at the moment.

Q. For one so young, 26, as you've said yourself, is not old, you are setting standards in golf. Tomorrow you're playing against Rory, who is five years younger, but clearly a prodigious talent, went around in 65 today. Are you surprised one so gifted has not won more than Rory has, when you see the game that he has?
MARTIN KAYMER: That he hasn't won more tournaments?

Q. Yeah.
MARTIN KAYMER: Very, very surprised. I think when I came on Tour, I was 21 years old. I learned a lot about myself. Not only about my golf, but a lot about myself. The last five years, travelling on Tour, working with different people, talking to obviously you guys here, and I think it's just a matter of, yeah, I don't want to say that he's not mature. I think he's very mature for his age. But I think it's just that little bit extra that is missing at the moment.
But, you know, I think if you give him a couple more years on Tour, especially when he plays a little bit more in America, which is different for us as well, I'm sure he will win plenty of tournaments and his prime time will come. I mean, no doubt about that. He will be one of the best players in the world and I definitely think that he will be the No. 1 in the world one day as well.

Q. Talking about No. 1s in the world, of course, should you win tomorrow, you go to No. 2. What would that mean to you?
MARTIN KAYMER: There's one more to go then. (Laughter).
Obviously it's my goal to win here tomorrow. Like I told you the last few days and last year, No. 1 in the world, I don't want to putt that pressure on myself. Of course it is one of my goals, but my biggest goal is to win as many tournaments as possible and if it happens that I become No. 1 in the world, it happens.

Q. How would it feel to be No. 2 instead of No. 3?
MARTIN KAYMER: It's quite nice. I consider Tiger Woods the best player in the world or the best golfer player that ever lived. And to be in front of him for make a week or a month, that would make me happy for sure. (Laughter).

Q. Have you made any changes, any change of equipment or style or stroke to your putting that has brought this improvement this week or this wonderful sort of run of long putts?
MARTIN KAYMER: Well, I've got a few things from TaylorMade to try but I didn't really have time in the wintertime to try the new clubs, the new driver. So I really wanted to stick to my equipment. I'm happy with the TaylorMade ball and I'm happy with the R9 driver and those are usually the things that you could change.
But I'm very happy with my equipment. I had a fantastic season last year. I didn't see any reason why I should change anything. And swing-wise, yeah, I'm working on a couple of things with my coach, but nothing really major.

Q. Really is it the ideal position for you tomorrow with a five-stroke lead, and yet, still facing someone that can really throw down the gauntlet to you? You have the best of both worlds there.
MARTIN KAYMER: Well, six would be better. But five shots (laughter).
My goal tomorrow is to get further away, to make more birdies. It's just a very fun round tomorrow I think. I know that Rory, he will play well. And I have to play well, too, to get away a little bit. And I just really look forward to that challenge. It will be chasing me and maybe David Lynn can come from behind as well, and that is the joy that I have on the golf course; knowing that if you play well enough, you can win the golf tournament. If you screw it up, then you screw it up. That's the challenge tomorrow, the fun point of playing golf I think.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Talking of Joy, back row. (Laughter) Couldn't resist that.

Q. If you win for the third time, that trophy is going to go home with you. What do you think about that?
SCOTT CROCKETT: If you win for the third time, the trophy will go home with you permanently, apparently.
MARTIN KAYMER: I talked with Johan yesterday, we will make sure that it will be in Germany next week.
SCOTT CROCKETT: How do you feel about that prospect?
MARTIN KAYMER: It will be nice. Of course it will be nice to take that home, then I have three, three trophies at home, and knowing that you won a tournament three times in four years, you know, it doesn't really get better as a start.
SCOTT CROCKETT: Martin, well played today. Good luck tomorrow.

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