UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – Between rounds at last year’s U.S. Open, Martin Kaymer spent time talking about the World Cup, which was eventually won by his native Germany, and hanging out at Starbucks with his brother.
Luckily for the defending champion, he will have the Women’s World Cup, which also includes the German side, and a city filled with Starbucks to get him through this week’s championship.
Because of a relatively quiet start to the season - he has missed three of his last five cuts on the PGA Tour - Kaymer enters this week’s U.S. Open very much under the radar despite his status as a two-time major winner and the defending champion.
“A lot of times I'm under the radar, I feel like, which is fine,” he said. “My win was already 12 months ago. So I think what they've [Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler] done more recently is more important than my win last year.”
In a unique twist, this week’s championship will be the first of two major titles Kaymer will defend this year although technically he won the PGA Championship in 2010.
This year’s PGA returns to Whistling Straits, where he won in 2010, which gives Kaymer added confidence heading into the year’s last three majors.
“I believe we're going to play three British Opens this year,” he said. “We start here and then we play the real one at St. Andrews, and then Whistling Straits. The golf course here is very similar around the greens to the way I played Pinehurst last year.”