Martin Kaymer recaptures the magic of Medinah to end his long barren run - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Martin Kaymer recaptures the magic of Medinah to end his long barren run

German Ryder Cup hero beats home favourite Schwartzel to win his first Tour title of 2012

Sun City

Even a first win in more than a year and a beefy $1.25m (£780,000) cheque could not better that Ryder Cup moment for Martin Kaymer. The German held on through the final five holes at the Nedbank Golf Challenge for a two-shot victory at a rainy Sun City yesterday, giving him something else to take from 2012 along with his match-winning putt back in September.

"I will still never do a bigger putt in my life," Kaymer said, remembering Medinah minutes after securing his first Nedbank triumph.

Kaymer finished with an eight-under par 280 ahead of South Africa's Charl Schwartzel in second. Kaymer and Schwartzel both closed with 69s, but Schwartzel's bogey on the 17th after closing to within one shot eventually gave Kaymer enough breathing space.

"It was always tight. Charl played a great round of golf," Kaymer said, adding he only felt comfortable once his par-putt on 18 had dropped to confirm his victory. "I was telling [my caddie] 'I need a win. I need a win in 2012'."

Kaymer was twice in trouble towards the end, first pulling his tee shot deep into the rough on the par-five 14th. He blasted out through the trees and into the middle of the fairway and eventually made a brilliant birdie. He then bogeyed No 15 to allow Schwartzel to move within one, but recovered his composure with pars on the last three to close out a first win since the WGC HSBC Champions in November 2011.

Schwartzel had three birdies, including one at 14, but a bogey five at 17 eventually saw another Nedbank slip away from the home favourite, who was still looking for his first success after four attempts. American Bill Haas was third on three-under, a shot ahead of Kaymer's final-round playing partner, South African Louis Oosthuizen, who was fourth on two-under. Two-time defending champion Lee Westwood's run at Sun City ended with a 73 for a one-under 287 total and fifth place.

The rest of the 12-man field were all over par at a tough Gary Player Country Club layout, where narrow fairways, stubborn rough, gusty winds and – yesterday – steady rain made scoring consistently difficult. No one shot better than 69 all week.

Kaymer eagled the par-five second hole, double-bogeyed the third, then had three birdies before his crucial recovery on the 14th. Deep in trouble, he found his way out of the bushes and put his third to within 10 feet. He made the birdie putt to ensure he had enough of an advantage through the closing holes.

Kaymer's long-awaited win came after restructuring his swing and at the end of a memorable year. He also completed a German double at Sun City after Bernhard Langer won the seniors' event on Saturday.

Westwood's attempt to become the first player to win three straight Nedbank titles ended at the telling 14th hole, where the Englishman took two shots to get out of the rough, then found the bunker and missed a bogey putt to come away with a challenge-ending double-bogey seven. Behind him, Paul Lawrie was sixth on one-over 289 after a 74, Francesco Molinari and Carl Pettersson were tied for seventh on two-over and Peter Hanson was ninth on three-over.

Nicolas Colsaerts, Justin Rose and Garth Mulroy were 10th, 11th, and 12th.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea