Super-confident Martin Kaymer lived up to his own hype with a four-shot win in the KLM Open at Hilversum today – the fifth victory in a row by a member of Europe’s Ryder Cup team.
“I think I am ready to win again,” the world number six had said on the eve of his return to action after three weeks off celebrating his first major title at the USPGA championship.
Kaymer’s second successive victory takes him almost €500,000 clear of Ireland’s Graeme McDowell – Europe’s other current major champion – at the top of the European Tour money list.
The 25-year-old German, who from one in front shot a near-flawless 66 for a 14-under-par aggregate of 266, joins another cup team-mate, Miguel Angel Jimenez, as a three-time winner this season.
“I felt very strong and I was very patient,” said Kaymer after pushing Swede Christian Nilsson and Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti into a distant second place.
“The majors are the biggest tournaments we play all year and if you win one of those it gives you probably the biggest confidence you can get.
“It was my goal to play well here, but I was not expecting to win again. It’s a nice feeling.”
Kaymer’s triumph at Whistling Straits last month started the amazing run of success by Colin Montgomerie’s men.
Peter Hanson won a week later at the Czech Open, then Edoardo Molinari in the Johnnie Walker Championship and Jimenez last week at the Omega European Masters.
Kaymer, who says his top choices as partners for Celtic Manor would be Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald, now heads back to his Arizona base to prepare for his cup debut.
His only mistake on the final day was a bogey at the short 10th, but he had gone to the turn in 33 to be three clear and a birdie two holes later widened the gap again.
Nilsson did chip in on the 210-yard 15th, but followed it with a bogey and Kaymer knew the €300,000 first prize was his after making a 10-foot putt on the same hole.
He added another birdie on the par-five last for good measure, while Zanotti and Nilsson, producing performances that will ensure they keep their Tour cards for next season, also two-putted there for fours that lifted them clear of Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, England’s David Horsey and Spanish pair Jose Manuel Lara and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano.
Francesco Molinari and Ross Fisher were the other two Ryder Cup players in the field and they finished eighth and 11th respectively.