“I really enjoyed the whole event last year,” said the 30-year-old German Tuesday. “I was surprised how big the event is here in Thailand which is why I decided to come back. I have many very good memories of the golf course and if I can play one or two shots better here I can finally win.”
Twelve months ago Kaymer arrived on the outskirts of Bangkok in the form of his life following a year that had seen him blitz the field by a stunning eight strokes at the US Open at Pinehurst while also capturing The Players Championship. But he had to settle for a share of second place with Australian Marcus Fraser, just one stroke behind eventual winner Lee Westwood.
That result has given Kaymer – winner also of the PGA Championship in 2010 and a one-time world number one in 2011 – a taste for the Amata Spring layout, and a confidence that he can lift the Thailand Golf
This year he will line up Thursday against a field that includes two-time winner Westwood once again, as well as 2013 champion Sergio Garcia, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson, and Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke.
Leading the local charge will be Thailand’s Asian Tour stars Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who have all season long been among the form players on the European Tour.
The German said his efforts at Amata Spring last year were still fresh in his memory and had him feeling confident about how his game was shaping up.
“I made a lot of good shots last year,” said Kaymer who was joined Thursday by an array of stars at the photo call for the Thailand Golf Championship, held at Bangkok’s famous Vimanmek Mansion.
“It has been a long season for all of us but I have been playing really well recently,” said Kaymer, who has collected 22 tournament victories so far in his career. “The results perhaps haven’t reflected that but this is my last tournament of the year and I’m going to give it a really good go.”
Kaymer is among the host of European stars assembled in Thailand this week who will be hoping to grab the eye of Ryder Cup captain Clarke as he begins his preparations for the defence of that crown against the Americans at the Hazeltine National Golf Course in Chaska, Minnesota, come next September.
The German secured his own slice of the Ryder Cup legend when he sank the putt that earned the European Team a stunning come-from-behind victory at the 2012 edition of the famous event at Medinah and he is looking to the Thailand Golf Championship to help push him up the world rankings, and place him firmly in the picture again turning into 2016.
“There are a lot of world ranking points at stake here and winning the tournament would take care of that,” said Kaymer.
About the Thailand Golf Championship
Organized by Gulf Sports Management and IMG, and sanctioned by the Asian Tour, the fifth edition of the Thailand Golf Championship will be staged at the award-winning Amata Spring Country Club in Chonburi between 10-13 December. The Championship, the Asian Tour’s season-ending event, has a total prize purse of US$1 million, and has been part of the Open Qualifying Series since 2014. The Thailand Golf Championship will be broadcast globally by Asian Tour Media and in Thailand by TrueVisions.
Former winners of the Championship are: Lee Westwood (2011), Charl Schwartzel (2012), Sergio Garcia (2013) and Lee Westwood (2014).