(Reuters) - After the euphoria of his U.S. Open victory and a hectic return to his native Germany, Martin Kaymer is relishing the chance for some quiet time on the driving range ahead of Thursday’s French Open.
The world number 12 won the second major of his career with an eight-shot triumph at Pinehurst, North Carolina last month, but missed the cut by four shots at the BMW International at Gut Larchenhof near his home town of Duesseldorf in his first outing since.
Kaymer, who also won the U.S. PGA in 2010, admits the demands of being a major champion and trying to keep friends and compatriots happy was a difficult task and made it hard to remain focused on his game.
“Just having more time for yourself, having a quiet week even though we planned it and organized it very well last week with the media and all those things,” the 29-year-old told the European Tour website on Wednesday.
“But then you get lots of text messages, ‘can I have this, can I get that, can I have a few more tickets, can you leave them here’, all that stuff. It’s a tough one. If you don’t respond then they think you’re cocky or you’ve changed.
“This week, I came here yesterday morning, I went to the range and it was so quiet. I said to my caddy that it is nice to stay on the range and no-one is talking to you, you can really work. I miss that. This week I hope it’s going to stay like that and I can enjoy it as much as I have in the past.”
Kaymer is partnered with defending champion Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and France’s Victor Dubuisson at Le Golf National, near Versailles, venue of the 2018 Ryder Cup.
He won the French Open in a playoff over England’s Lee Westwood in 2009 and said he was looking forward to taking to a course where he had found success in the past.
“Playing the U.S. Open, playing the German Open, it’s very tough. There is a lot of stuff that goes on. This week it’s nice to prepare for the main reason why you are here. You are here to play golf,” he said.
“I’ve done well here in the past. It’s my favorite golf course that we play on the European Tour. It’s always one of the greatest challenges that we have, you really need to play good golf in order to score well. I like those golf courses were par is a good score.”
Reporting by Josh Reich; Editing by John O'Brien