"You've got to watch this kid play. He's going to be something, I promise you." -- Ernie Els
__NAME: Martin Kaymer
HOME: Mettmann, Germany__
It has been 15 years since Germany's Bernhard Langer won his last Masters, and only one other countryman, Alex Cejka, has even played in the event since then. That's reason enough to note that Germany's Martin Kaymer is in this year's Masters field. But don't be shocked if he isn't content to just drive down Magnolia Lane.
Kaymer, ranked No. 21 in the World Golf Ranking in early March, became the first German to crack the world's top-25 players in more than five years (Langer was the last in 2003) and is widely seen as the next star to emerge from the European tour.
"You've got to watch this kid play," says Ernie Els. "He's going to be something, I promise you. He's long. He's got a great touch. You'll see a lot of him." Says renowned swing coach Peter Cowen: "Martin is a bit raw, but he's the real thing."
Ever since Kaymer turned pro in November 2005, the former German and Austrian amateur champion has excelled at every level. He shot a 59 in a satellite-tour event, won two of his first four events on the European Challenge Tour, earned European tour Rookie of the Year honors (in 2007) and won a tour event in January -- the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. Then he finished second to Tiger Woods in the Dubai Desert Classic in February.
"Everything is going very fast," says Kaymer, who lost to Boo Weekley in his first PGA Tour event in February, the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. "It takes some time getting used to this life." Which is why Kaymer hired Nick Faldo's former caddie, Fanny Sunesson -- now with Henrik Stenson -- as a course- management coach (Sunesson coaches the German national team).
With a PGA Tour career in sight, Kaymer isn't taking any chances.