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Kaymer under Ollie's watchful eye at KLM Open

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This week’s KLM Open on the European Tour will mark Martin Kaymer’s first worldwide start since he shot 79-79 alongside Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship. In the midst of a monthslong slump, Kaymer barely qualified for the European Ryder Cup team on points, and the German said recently that he’s been working hard on his game in advance of the matches later this month.

There’s no easing back into competition here, though.

Kaymer, fellow European Ryder Cupper Nicolas Colsaerts and captain Jose Maria Olazabal are paired during the first two rounds of this week’s European Tour event at Hilversum Golf Club in the Netherlands. 

“I had nothing to do with Nicolas and Martin playing alongside me for the first two rounds,” Olazabal insisted. “So I am really happy with that, but then I will not be watching them all the time, as I will be focusing on my own game.”

Kaymer hasn’t finished in the top 10 in a worldwide event since mid-April, leading a few European news outlets to speculate that the 27-year-old may even turn down a spot on the Ryder Cup team. The 2010 PGA champion already has refuted those reports.

“Of course the Ryder Cup will sure come up in conversation,” Kaymer said, according to The Daily Mail (UK), “but then the three of us also will be focused on trying to capture the KLM Open. I can’t remember the last time I played Jose Maria, but now that I’m on the team, I don’t feel as though I will be under the (same) sort of pressure.”

Despite his summer swoon, Kaymer, at No. 29, is still the highest-ranked player in the field this week.