World number one Martin Kaymer sacrificed competing in this week’s Shell Houston Open in an attempt to improve his record in the US Masters which begins at Augusta National next Thursday.
The 26-year-old German usurped Lee Westwood at the top of the world golf rankings in February after a year in which he won the US PGA Championship and finished in the top ten of two other golf majors, the US Open and Open Championship. However, he has yet to make the cut in three previous attempts in the Masters and is adopting a new strategy this time around.
While Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson and Lee Westwood are warming up for the Masters at the Houston Open in Kimble, Texas, Kaymer has decided to take the week off. “When I came to the Masters I never played my best golf. I was never at my peak performance and the biggest problem I had, I struggled with the short game. I think it was always my worst time of the year, between March and May,” explained Kaymer. “I’m not playing the week before like I did the last three years. I’m giving myself more time off, to prepare a little bit different. I don’t know how it’s going to work this year, but hopefully I can play on the Saturday and Sunday [of The Masters].”
Kaymer turned down the opportunity to become a full member of the PGA Tour for 2011, preferring instead to stay loyal to the European Tour with some selected appearances in America. He has competed in two WGC events this year, finishing second in the Accenture Matchplay and tied 24th in the Cadillac Championship. He played in last week’s PGA Tour event, picking up a $50,000 cheque for his top twenty finish in the Transitions Championship.