Confident Kaymer has Georgia on his mind

Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:35pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Martin Kaymer used to be too deferential towards Augusta National, causing a series of missed cuts, but he now feels much more at home at the U.S. Masters venue and dreams of one day donning the coveted Green Jacket.

The German failed to qualify for the weekend on his first four visits to the year's opening major championship held in the state of Georgia.

Next month, however, the world number 12 goes into the event with fresh optimism having played all four rounds in 2012, 2013 and 2014 to finish in the middle of the pack in 44th, 35th and 31st position.

"It was tough to score worse than I did in my first four years at Augusta," Kaymer told Reuters in a telephone interview. "I just didn't feel comfortable playing the course and I couldn't play it the way it was supposed to be played.

"I used to have too much respect for the place, it almost got to the point where I didn't play freely enough. I always held back a little, that is never good in golf, and I've changed that.

"It is something that has a lot to do with confidence, knowing how to play the course better, playing with more feel and aggression," added twice major champion Kaymer.

"You still have to respect the place of course but that is definitely something I've gained in the last couple of years."

The winner of the 2014 U.S. Open and 2010 U.S. PGA Championship has learned to draw the ball from right to left in recent seasons and that is a valuable asset to own at Augusta.   Continued...

Martin Kaymer of Germany  tees off on the third hole during the Dubai Desert Classic January 29, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah