Those who expected the collapse in Abu Dhabi to destroy Martin Kaymer’s confidence don’t know him very well.
In fact, the reigning U.S. Open champion said that it was “important to lose” the tournament and that after blowing a 10-shot lead with 13 holes to play, he actually had “more reflective thoughts in my head than being angry.”
“Of course I would have loved to win, and I hope I have another chance in the future to win that golf tournament,” he told reporters Tuesday in Dubai. “But this year, it was more important to lose. It was more important for the future to lose, in order to win more.
“I don’t want to call it a bad experience, because it is not a bad experience. It creates a bad result on your scorecard but also (reveals) a lot of truth about yourself. That we are not machines, that the German engineering doesn’t always work. It does work, usually, but once in a while it sticks, too. Therefore it was a brilliant day for me.
“People will always put it in a negative light. Obviously the result is not good, but there is a lot more behind it than just the result.”
Kaymer was searching for his fourth title at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, but he came unraveled down the stretch and was passed by unheralded Gary Stal. This is Kaymer’s first appearance since that letdown.
“If I had won again (people would have said), ‘Yeah, great Martin. You can name it the Martin Kaymer Golf Course’, and all these sorts of things,” he told reporters. “That would have been good, but I wouldn’t have gained much. I would have gotten a little more money, a few more world-ranking points and a beautiful trophy for my house. Instead, I lost a few world-ranking points, a trophy and some money. But I can handle all three of these things.
“It was almost like a life lesson, not only a golf lesson, that I got there. So, therefore, I am very glad that it happened.”
This week’s field in Dubai also includes Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Graeme McDowell. When Kaymer was asked whether he arrived with a point to prove, he replied:
“Well, prove a point to who? That is the question,” he said. “That was part of the reflection, as well. Who do you do it for? Do you do it for others, for their expectations? Or do you do it for yourself?
“I didn’t come here to prove to others that I can win a golf tournament. I don’t care about this. I have proved many, many times before that I can win. There have been many situations that were more difficult or more important, so I know it has nothing to do with my game.”