News & ToursAugust 16, 2015

Here are 5 reasons you shouldn't count out Martin Kaymer today

HAVEN, Wis. -- Nobody's talking about the defending champion at Whistling Straits on PGA Championship Sunday. That might be just how Martin Kaymer likes it.

The German is just four back of Jason Day's lead, alone in fifth place as the third-to-last group off with Tony Finau. Here are five reasons we wouldn't be surprised to see Kaymer come from behind and win the 97th PGA Championship.

1. Kaymer has been in this exact position before, and won.

Fresh on our mind is his runaway win at the U.S. Open last year at Pinehurst No. 2 when he led by seven before teeing off Sunday. But here at Whistling Straits in 2010, Kaymer trailed by four shots back with 18 holes to go. That's the exact margin he's back now. Playing with none other than the man he's chasing today, Jason Day, Kaymer birdied two of his first four holes at the 2010 PGA to grab the lead -- with leader Nick Watney dropping fast. The German had a bogey-free round of 65 on Saturday. Don't expect him to bogey many holes Sunday.

View image |

2. Whistling Straits is Kaymer's favorite U.S. course.

When asked on Saturday why he excels at this Pete Dye design, the German spoke about how much he loves Whistling Straits. He called it "the best course in America that I've played." Why? He says every hole presents something different to think about. Kaymer is a thinking man's golfer. That explains why he brings out his best golf on the edge of Lake Michigan.

3. There could be redemption on Kaymer's side.

Earlier this week, speaking as the defending champion, Kaymer said he's "sad" to know that most people associate Whistling Straits with Dustin Johnson and his bunker fiasco. "You know, you win a major and you don't get much credit for it," he said Saturday. That could be extra motivation for his final round. If he wins at Whistling Straits for a second straight time, the conversation would likely start with the German's dominance here.

View image |

Related: These 33 photos capture the beauty of Whistling Straits

4. Confidence factor? Kaymer probably has double what he had in 2010.

With all due respect to Jordan Spieth, he's still only playing in his 12th major. Spieth has learned fast how to win in the clutch. But the other guys? Kaymer has a leg up on Jason Day on closing out majors. Kaymer talked Saturday about how much winning here in 2010 taught him about winning.

"Now, winning big tournaments in America, in Europe, in the Ryder Cup, all those memories and all those experiences, how you feel as a player when you're in those crucial situations under a lot of pressure, you learn a lot about yourself and you learn a lot about how you handle pressure situations."

5. Clutch putting on American soil? U.S. Ryder Cup fans know all too well Kaymer is capable of that.

It was just two hours away at Medinah in 2012 where Kaymer closed out the Ryder Cup for the Europeans on 18 over Steve Stricker. Despite an otherwise lackluster year, Kaymer rose to the occasion at Medinah No. 3.

The Ryder Cup will be here at Whistling Straits in 2020. Think Kaymer wouldn't have extra motivation to further solidify his presence as a clutch performer here before the Ryder Cup? We think so. U.S. fans already know Kaymer is capable of producing in those pressure situations.

Follow @S_HennesseyGD


More from The Loop