ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – It was the right time, simple as that. That was Martin Kaymer’s take on his decision to end his PGA Tour holdout and join the U.S. circuit this year.
“When I was 23 and 24, I was too young,” the German said on the eve of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, which he has won three times. “Now I feel like I would like to try it out knowing what’s going to happen in America.”
Despite owning a house in Scottsdale, Ariz., the former world No. 1 declined membership following his PGA Championship victory in 2010. Successful swing changes last year, not to mention his Ryder Cup heroics at Medinah, convinced him it was time.
According to Kaymer’s manager he will play the next two weeks in the Middle East and start the U.S. portion of the schedule at the Waste Mangement Phoenix Open followed by the WGC-Accenture Match Play, WGC-Cadillac Championship, Tampa Bay Championship and The Masters.
The only surreal part of the decision for Kaymer, the 2007 European Tour Rookie of the Year, is the Tour regulation that has labeled him a rookie this year in the United States. “I am a rookie,” he shrugged, “it’s weird but it is what it is.”