The Players Championship: Martin Kaymer adds second 'major' title after overcoming late thunderstorm to win at TPC Sawgrass
The former US Champion held on to become just the fourth European to win the Players Championship, regarded as the unofficial fifth major
Monday 12 May 2014
Martin Kaymer admitted his Players Championship victory felt like another major title following a dramatic triumph in near-darkness at Sawgrass on Sunday.
Kaymer became just the fourth European to win the event in 41 years after carding a final round of 71 to finish 13 under par, one shot ahead of Jim Furyk.
The former world number one had looked to be cruising to victory when he held a three-shot lead on the 14th hole, only for an approaching thunderstorm to force the players off the course.
Furyk was facing a short par putt on the 18th when play was suspended, the American biting his putter in frustration as thunder sounded overhead.
The former US Open champion duly holed out to complete a superb 66 when play resumed after a 90-minute delay, and then watched as Kaymer ran up his first double bogey of the week on the 15th after pulling his drive into the trees and fluffing his third shot into a greenside bunker.
After surprisingly opting not to chip from off the 16th green and three-putting for par, Kaymer looked certain to drop another shot when his tee shot on the famous par-three 17th caught the bank of a bunker and span back to within inches of the water.
However, the man who holed the putt which ensured Europe retained the Ryder Cup in 2012 produced another brilliant stroke under pressure, holing a curling par attempt from 29 feet to remain one ahead.
A par on the last therefore secured the win and meant Kaymer followed in the footsteps of European winners Sandy Lyle (1987), Sergio Garcia (2008) and Henrik Stenson (2009). Garcia birdied the last to finish outright third on 11 under with Justin Rose and overnight joint leader Jordan Spieth sharing fourth on 10 under.
Kaymer, who won the US PGA Championship in August 2010 and became world number one for eight weeks the following February, said: "It's always very difficult to come back after a little break, you see the leaderboard, you see where you are.
"When you are playing the first 14 holes you are in it and just keep going. I played really really well and you are really disappointed when they called it (off). Obviously there was a reason for it.
"And then you are a little cold and I made a couple of wrong decisions. On 15 you give yourself a chance for par, you don't be that aggressive and try to go for it. And then on 16 you have to chip it, it was not the right decision but it was a big putt on 17. It feels like a major win."
Earlier in the week Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley walked a few holes in practice with Kaymer, who added: "I'm still a few points behind but I will do everything I can to make the team. It will be really nice to part of it again; once you've done it once you always want to be there."
Latest in Sport
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Sir Alex Ferguson reveals who he thinks is better between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
Chelsea transfer news: 'Eden Hazard will cost Real Madrid £100m - and a Galactico,' says Jose Mourinho
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 2 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove