Kaymer feels stronger ahead of Dubai Desert Classic


Kaymer out to end Stephen Gallacher's hat-trick dream

Martin Kaymer insists throwing away a 10-shot lead at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championships was not a bad experience and has helped him grow stronger as a golfer and a person.

The two-time major winner was clear odds-on favourite to close out his fourth victory at the event but carded a three-over final round allowing Frenchman Gary Stal to clinch his maiden victory.

At this week’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the German will be looking to scupper Stephen Gallacher’s bid to win the event for the third time in a row.

Gallacher returns to defend his title at Emirates Golf Club for the second time after making it back to back victories in the final event of the Desert Swing last year with a one shot win over Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo.

Only five players in European Tour history have lifted the same title on three successive occasions – Ian Woosnam (1990-92 Monte Carlo Open), Sir Nick Faldo (1991-93 Irish Open), Colin Montgomerie (1998-2000 PGA Championship), Tiger Woods (1999-01, 2005-07 WGC – Bridgestone Invitational and 2005-07 WGC – Cadillac Championship) and Ernie Els (2002-04 Heineken Classic).

But Kaymer, Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia are among those standing in Gallacher’s way.

“Losing the lead like I did in Abu Dhabi was a new situation, and actually I’m very glad that it happened,” Kaymer said.

“Because it happens at one stage in your career. I think it’s very tough to avoid and I don’t know if you want to avoid it, because those things, they are not nice when it happens, but afterwards, you are even more motivated because you grow a lot on the golf course, as a golf player and also as a person. 

And therefore, you became more mature.  It was almost like a life lesson, not only golf lesson that I got there.  So therefore, I’m very glad that happened.
It creates a lot of truth about yourself; that we are not machines; that maybe the German engineering doesn’t always work" “I handled it differently at the US Open, handled it differently at Sawgrass, at The Ryder Cup and many other occasions where I was leading, where I had wire to wire wins or in 2010 when I kept winning golf tournaments. 

“Abu Dhabi was different and I’m glad it was different because I think every athlete needs that. I don’t want to call it a bad experience, because it’s not a bad experience. 

“It would create a bad result on the scorecard, but it creates a lot of truth about yourself; that we are not machines; that maybe the German engineering doesn’t always work. 

“It does work, usually, but once in a while, it gets stuck and for me to learn that made it, in some ways, a brilliant day for me.”

Gallacher insists he is not approaching this week any differently to other events, even if he does find the Majlis Course very much to his liking every time he returns.

“I’m going to approach it the same as last year, not try to put too much pressure on myself and just go ahead and enjoy it,” he said. 

“Hopefully come Sunday, I’m in position to give it a good go. My plan is to try and not put myself under any pressure. 

“I mean, I’d love to make it three in a row, don’t get me wrong. To win last year on the 25th anniversary was special, with the field and with the history behind it.

“So I take a lot of confidence from that and it set up sort of my best year. I’m hoping to just keep building on it. It’s a course I play well, so I’m hoping to just not think too much about it and just get on and play golf really. 

“You get certain places where everything seems to click for you, and I certainly feel good coming here and I really enjoy playing the course and I love coming to Dubai.”

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