AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Learning the nuances of Augusta National takes time and Germany’s Martin Kaymer turned to veteran compatriot Bernhard Langer for advice on Monday while preparing for this week’s Masters.
Kaymer has already landed two majors but the former world number one was not going to miss out on the chance to pepper the 57-year-old Langer, a double champion at Augusta National, with questions as the two played a practice round together.
”Obviously he’s very experienced, and the way he does things, they are very much the way I want to do things,“ Kaymer told reporters. ”We are very similar in that category.
“And he’s always very open about it. He never holds anything back so it’s very, very helpful.”
Kaymer, who cruised to his second major title with a wire-to-wire victory in the U.S. Open last year, was especially keen to seek Langer’s advice on how to play the par-five 13th.
“I’ve struggled a little bit with that back left (pin position) on the top part (of the green) there,” Kaymer said.
”And I said to Bernhard, ‘What do you think is the best lay-up, on the right side or the left side?’ He said, ‘None of those.’ I said, ‘Well, you have to lay up somewhere.’
“He said, ‘I like to hit it very close to the creek and just hit a bump and run to get it on top, unless the green is really firm and then you can hit a full lob wedge on to the top part. If you let it jump up there, it usually sticks in the slope.”
Kaymer was delighted to hear a different option on how to play the hole by Langer, who will be competing in his 32nd Masters this week after winning the coveted Green Jacket in 1985 and 1993.
“That pin position I always struggled with,” said the 30-year-old. “I was just thinking about (laying up) left or right, but maybe not close to the green.”
Kaymer was the game’s best player midway through last year as he won the Players Championship in Florida, the tournament dubbed golf’s unofficial fifth major, before he triumphed at the U.S. Open a month later.
“It’s very difficult to follow up a season like that,” he said. “You shouldn’t really compare what happened in 2014 and hope that the same thing might happen in 2015. I‘m just trying to peak for this week.”
Editing by Frank Pingue