How will Kaymer rebound this time?
Kevin Currie - Golf Editor|
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
A week ago, we wondered how Jimmy Walker would rebound from his stunning collapse. This week, you can ask Martin Kaymer the same question?
Kaymer birdied three of the first four holes on Sunday, and after a par on the fifth, he was 10 clear of the field. Eight holes later, he trailed by one.
That epic collapse was considerably worse than Walker's the previous week. Walker led by three with eight holes to play after he birdied the 10th.
Walker played the final eight holes in 1-over par as he bogeyed the 14th and parred the other seven holes. That opened the door for Patrick Reed, who played the final four holes in 3-under par with an eagle, two birdies and a bogey. Reed then beat Walker in a playoff.
Kaymer's collapse came mid-round, and he had time to come back, but failed to do so. He was 10 strokes clear of the field, and 12 ahead of eventual champion Gary Stal, after five holes.
Three holes did Kaymer in. At the sixth, Kaymer could only pitch his second shot down the fairway. He flew the green with his third. The next shot may have been the turning point.
Kaymer's par chip horseshoed the cup. If that drops, maybe things go differently. Three holes later, Kaymer's drive stopped against a bush. He contemplated playing the shot left handed, but chose to take a drop instead.
He found sand with his third and walked off with a double-bogey.
Meanwhile, Stal had birdied three of four to climb to 16-under. Stal, who was one group ahead of Kaymer, also birdied Nos. 10 and 11 to make it six birdies in eight holes.
Suddenly, Stal was within two. Just as fast as that happened. Stal was in the lead shortly thereafter.
Kaymer made a mess of the 13th. Another poor drive led to another penalty drop. He flubbed a chip as well, and it all added up to a triple-bogey. That handed Stal a 1-shot lead.
The difference between Kaymer and Walker is that Kaymer had five holes to overcome Stal. Walker was in the final group, right behind Reed.
Kaymer could only par the last five holes and he ended two back as Stal added a birdie at 16.
Now we look to see if Kaymer can bounce back. He won his second major championship last year at the U.S. Open. Between a victory at the 2010 PGA Championship and his U.S. Open title, Kaymer struggled with his game despite winning four times on the European Tour, two in 2010 and two more in 2011.
He had done enough to finish 10th on the European points list to earn his way onto his second straight Ryder Cup team in 2012. When he beat Steve Stricker in the penultimate match, that clinched the cup for the Europeans.
Kaymer, who had scuffled most of that season with his game, was the hero for a team that matched the biggest comeback in Ryder Cup history. Following a two- win 2011 campaign, Kaymer posted just four top-10 finishes in 19 starts before the Ryder Cup.
In 2013, Kaymer collected eight top-10s, but failed to win again. He got back into the winner's circle last year at the Players Championship, where he opened with a 63 before holding off Jim Furyk.
Kaymer put on a sublime performance at the U.S. Open, where he rolled to an 8- stroke victory.
He bounced back once over a period of time. Can he quickly rebound like Walker did last week? Walker coughed up the title at Kapalua on Monday, then closed 62-63 to earn a resounding 9-shot win at Waialae. He got over that disappointment rather quickly.
Can Kaymer do the same? We know one thing is certain: He won't win this week. He isn't playing a tour event. Kaymer is slated to return next week in Dubai.
Bouncing back won't be as easy for Kaymer as it was for Walker because the field in Dubai will include world No. 1 Rory McIlroy, No. 2 Henrik Stenson, No. 6 Sergio Garcia and tour stalwarts like Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood.
Next week in Dubai will be a big test for Kaymer. He has shown his mettle in coming back before, can he do it again will be the question.
ALLENBY'S STRANGE ORDEAL
It isn't often you hear a story about people getting beat up and robbed in Hawaii. It probably happens, but not as often as in, say, New York City or Philadelphia or Los Angeles.
It definitely isn't often that you hear tale of a professional golfer getting beat up and robbed. That seems to be what happened to Robert Allenby on Friday night in Hawaii.
We're not debating whether it happened or not, the photos prove something happened. The police will fill in the details at some point, hopefully after the purported wrong-doers are caught.
Allenby says he doesn't remember leaving a wine bar after being separated from the people he was with. He has stated in a few interviews that he was then knocked out and dumped from the car he had been riding in. He came to as he was being kicked by homeless people at the location where he was dumped.
He says two people helped him, the first got him away from the people kicking him, the second got him a cab back to his hotel.
Allenby feels lucky to be alive after the ordeal.
This could serve as a wake-up call to him and other athletes that things like this can happen anywhere and anytime, so they always need to be on their guard.
* Jimmy Walker set a few records in his victory at the Sony Open. His 9-shot win was the largest margin of victory and his closing 125 was one shot better than David Toms' old mark of 126. In the 50-year history of this tournament, Walker was the fourth back-to-back winner.
* The Masters continues to expand its field to amateurs. The winner of the inaugural Latin America Amateur Championship, Matias Dominguez, earned a spot in the field at the Masters as well as in the fields at the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur.