UNITED STATES:

Martin Kaymer returns to the site of his wire-to-wire US Open triumph 10 years ago without another tournament triumph since, but he hasn’t given up hope on a breakthrough victory.
The 39-year-old German tees off Thursday at Pinehurst in the first round of the 124th US Open off his best LIV Golf result of the season, a ninth-place showing in Houston to help his Cleeks win the team crown.
“Comparing yourself to others and what you’re capable of doing, this is the wrong way of approaching it,” Kaymer said Tuesday. “You really need to see the facts and stay in the moment where you are and just keep believing that eventually it will happen.”
Kaymer admitted he would have been stunned a decade ago to learn he would not have won again after his eight-stroke blowout for his second major title after also capturing the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
“This is the reality and this obviously is quite difficult for me to handle, that I haven’t won since then,” Kaymer said last week.
Kaymer had been part of a 2014 Ryder Cup team win, but getting a LIV team crown helps boost his confidence.
“That was the best sign we could have gotten moving forward. That was a nice feeling,” Kaymer said. “This is what that tour is all about, that team spirit, and that’s a nice part of the game of golf.”
Kaymer, who joined LIV in 2022, spent eight weeks at world number one in 2011 after reaching the final of the WGC Match Play, surpassing but then overtaken by England’s Lee Westwood.
A decade ago, Kaymer opened with back-to-back 65s and finished on nine-under-par 271, putting all week whenever he found himself on native sand around the greens at Pinehurst.
“Right now I’m on a very good path, my mindset is very positive and I really look forward to the challenge,” Kaymer said. “Three, four months ago, I would have been a little scared of this place. But now I have a lot of respect for the place and I think I can do well here.”
Since his major win at Pinehurst, Kaymer has only one top-10 result in 28 major starts, a share of seventh at the 2016 PGA at Baltusrol.
“I didn’t trust my swing for the last two or three years,” Kaymer said. “Now I have the consistency in my swing again.”
Kaymer went to re-enact some of his great shots from 2014 and found he can’t this time around.
“We tried to copy the pin positions from 10 years ago and certain pins are not possible anymore because the slope was too severe,” he said.
“I was a little bit overwhelmed this morning when I played the first four or five holes. It was very hard and very tight around the greens. It’s a little bit more tricky because the ball bounces a little bit more. I found it really hard.
“To make up-and-downs, it’s going to be a good challenge.”
Kaymer said his 2014 key was getting putts inside 10 feet of the hole.
“I didn’t make that many bogeys because I was quite good within eight or 10 feet,” he said. “But I feel like this week is quite difficult to get it in that circle.”
Kaymer is looking for all the luck he can get, right down to staying in the same hotel room he did in 2014.
“I don’t know if it helps. It cannot hurt, I guess,” he said. “I’m a little bit superstitious when it comes down to that.”

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