Former world number one Martin Kaymer hopes to learn from Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth as he bids to end his own lengthy winless drought.
McIlroy won for the first time in 19 months in the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday, while Spieth’s victory in last month’s Valero Texas Open was his first since the 2017 British Open.
Kaymer’s spell without a win is even longer, the two-time Major winner remarkably not tasting success since his wire-to-wire victory in the 2014 US Open and almost dropping out of the world’s top 200 before enjoying an improvement in form with six top-10 finishes last season.
“I think it’s always interesting [and] it would be nice to talk to them [Spieth and McIlroy], but in a really honest way,” Kaymer said ahead of the Betfred British Masters at The Belfry.
“What they have been through, what did it take, was it a mental thing, a technical thing, expectations, whatever it was.
“You always need to respect guys who have huge expectations and can’t live up to them every single time they play, which is very normal.
“To then come back in their way, not stressing about others, it’s interesting to see and understand how they got there – everybody can learn from that, not just as a golfer.”
Kaymer held a share of the lead after 54 holes on his last start in the Austrian Open, but made a poor start to the final round before recovering to finish third.
And the 36-year-old was also third in the ISPS Handa UK Championship at The Belfry last year, a bogey on the 71st hole seeing him miss the playoff between Rasmus Hojgaard and Justin Walters by a shot.
“Since corona happened, I’ve spent a lot of time at home and think about what I really want to achieve in my career,” Kaymer added.
“They are big goals; Ryder Cup teams I’d like to make, put myself in Major championships and having a chance to win on Sundays, winning on iconic courses like this week here.
“There are goals I’d like to achieve in my career and that keeps you motivated. I know I can do it. I know I’m good enough. I’ve proved it to myself and patience is just something I think you need to learn as a professional golfer.
“I have needed a lot of patience over the last few years and I actually enjoy it – it’s a good challenge to have.”
Philip Reid’s British Masters Lowdown
Purse: €2.15 million (€250,000 to the winner)
Where: Sutton Coldfield, England
The course: The Brabazon Course at The Belfry – 7,310 yards Par 72 – was designed by Dave Thomas and Peter Alliss and has proven a popular course on the European Tour with numerous tournaments through the years, going back to the English Classic in 1979, but more famously associated with the Ryder Cup (on four occasions from 1985 to 2002). The signature hole is the drivable Par-4 10th of 319 yards/292 metres which is guarded by a water hazard, making for a genuine risk and reward tee shot.
The field: The early Wednesday start was arranged to facilitate players travelling on to next week's US PGA Championship and, with Danny Willett as tournament host, it has indeed attracted a decent field that includes two-time Major champion Martin Kaymer and world number 45 Bob MacIntyre. This event also starts the double points for European Ryder Cup qualifying.
Quirky fact: During the 1993 English Open at the Belfry, Sam Torrance suffered a fractured sternum when he tripped over a flower pot whilst sleep-walking. The Scot would captain Europe at the venue in the match in 2002 . . . and Sam's Bar is named in his honour.
Quote-Unquote: "I'd take winning anywhere, I'm not picky" – Scottish left-hander Bob MacIntyre on his quest for a second European Tour win, to add to his Cyprus Showdown win of 2020.
Irish in the field: Paul Dunne (7.40am), Niall Kearney (8.30am), Cormac Sharvin (9.20am), Colm Moriarty (9.30am), Jonathan Caldwell (2.30pm).
Betting: Bob MacIntyre heads the market at 12-1 but better value can possibly be found with big-hitting Thomas Detry on a course where conquering the Par 5s will be important. Detry is on offer generally 33-1 and could finally mark his European Tour breakthrough win at the iconic venue . . . there is also each-way value with Scot Richie Ramsay at 70-1.
On TV: Live on Sky Sports from 1.30pm.