Martin Kaymer eyes Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf four-peat
Three-time Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship champion and two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer
Three-time Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship champion and two-time Major winner Martin Kaymer has his 2016 New Year’s resolutions already marked on his card. Topping the list is lifting his fourth Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship’s coveted Falcon Trophy, which seemed to be in the bag until this year’s final day of play.
The only man to take home the Â£30,000 piece of silverware after thrice lifting the Falcon Trophy, the 30-year-old German, nicknamed ‘Kaiser Kaymer’ by the adoring spectator grandstands, is preparing to deliver the same stunning form which left the world-class field in his wake until this year’s final day when defending champion, and largely unknown Frenchman Gary Stal, then 357th in the world, stole a march on him.
And next January’s star-studded field at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, which includes the golfing world’s current elite of world No. 1 Jordan Spieth in his Arabian debut, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson, is not putting Kaymer off one jot.
Last January, an ice-cool Kaymer had given a masterclass in playing The National, leading the field by six shots overnight and reaching a 10-shot lead, and his own record-winning course score of 24-under, after five holes in the final round. No one, least of all Kaymer, could have dreamt of the drama to come.
The two-time Major winner has taken positives from his multiple successes in Abu Dhabi and is now more motivated than ever to master The National once again, adding that he would love to get his hands on a fourth Falcon Trophy.
“Abu Dhabi is very special for me. I’ve carded some of my best rounds and had some very memorable victories there, and it would be great to win another Falcon Trophy in 2016,” said Kaymer.
“I feel happy and relaxed when I visit Abu Dhabi and my affinity for The National course is no secret. If I can emulate the form of some of my best performances in January, there is no reason why I can’t put myself in position to have a good chance on Sunday evening.”
To date, Kaymer has carded up an incredible 95-under par in his last 32 rounds over Abu Dhabi’s National course. Next January’s showpiece event will mark five years since he made Falcon Trophy history with his glorious 2011 hat-trick.
Teeing off his career in Abu Dhabi with a victory in 2008 for his maiden European PGA Tour title at the age of 24, the German maestro has made Abu Dhabi his ‘home away from home,’ before winning twice more (2010 and 2011) and smashing several records along the way.
Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), which owns the annual European Tour season opener, says Kaymer’s ‘come back’ declaration has all the potential to ruffle feathers among the event’s world-class field.
“Quite frankly, nothing would surprise me with this Championship, and we’ve seen that over the years,” said Aref Al Awani, ADSC’s General Secretary.
“Martin is an Abu Dhabi legend – he has an amazing following here and I know everyone will be rooting for him in January. His ‘come-back talk’ promises a great deal of excitement and we wish him well – but this is the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship where dream fields have set the benchmark from where others’ dreams have been made.”
Giles Morgan, HSBC Global Head of Sponsorship and Events, said: “Martin is an absolute class act and has been a real trailblazer for golf in the region, producing some sensational performances since his first victory back in 2008. But he will need to be at his very best in this stellar field – with Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Henrik Stenson all confirmed, it promises to be another Abu Dhabi classic.
“World class performances from world class players have earned the tournament the reputation as the jewel in the crown of Middle Eastern golf but as well as welcoming the greats of golf, we will also have one eye firmly fixed on the future; golf returns to the Olympics at Rio 2016 and our grassroots programs, which underpin all of our flagship events, will continue to offer a platform to up and coming young talent in the region. This more than anything is why we recently extended our title sponsorship of this great event – after all, today’s prodigies are tomorrow’s superstars.”
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