Kaymer's composure a major trump card, says Levet

Fri Jul 4, 2014 4:23pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Coolness under pressure, a strong work ethic and never-say-die attitude makes Germany's Martin Kaymer one of the favorites for this month's British Open, according to Frenchman Thomas Levet.

Kaymer will go into the year's third major at Hoylake with his status considerably elevated after his remarkable eight-shot victory at the Pinehurst U.S. Open last month but it is his unflappable temperament that stands out most of all for Levet.

The Frenchman, a six-times winner on the European Tour who came agonizingly close to winning the 2002 British Open before losing out in a four-way playoff, cited the example of Kaymer's penalty drop in the third round of the 2014 U.S. Open.

"That drop was absolutely brilliant," Levet told Reuters. "In a situation like that, many players would have lost the plot and probably tried to play that ball and who knows what could have happened."

Playing the par-four fourth hole on Pinehurst's challenging No. 2 Course, Kaymer took an unplayable lie after his tee shot sailed way left before ending up next to a pile of pine needles.

He then punched a low third shot down the fairway, well short of the green, struck his fourth to 15 feet and coolly sank the bogey putt before pumping his fist with relief.

"Martin took that unplayable lie almost with a laugh and just dropped his ball on the side, and he not only dropped it on the side but managed to make an up-and-down from 160 yards as well," said Levet.

"He made that hole look like nothing happened almost and it's a really tough hole. It was only a bogey for him and, in the end, it's on shots like this that he wins. He is very, very good under pressure, and I like his chances at Hoylake.   Continued...

Martin Kaymer of Germany celebrates on the 18th green after winning the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament in Pinehurst, North Carolina, June 15, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith/Files