It has become customary for Germany’s two major winners, Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer, to play a practice round together at Augusta National Golf Club, and the duo kept the tradition alive on Monday morning.
It has become customary for Germany’s two major winners, Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer, to play a practice round together at Augusta, and the duo kept the tradition alive on Monday morning.
Langer, 57 years old and the Masters champion twice, in 1985 and 1993, has forged a close friendship with Kaymer, 30, although as Kaymer explains, Langer is still so good around this golf course it can be humbling.
“Playing with Bernhard here can be quite frustrating sometimes,” starts Kaymer, “because you think you should do certain things better because you are younger, and you are hitting shorter irons into the greens, but on this golf course Bernhard just plays so well. To see Bernhard play at Augusta is very, very impressive.
“His short game had to be incredible for him to finish eighth last year. He putted very well to finish so high on the leaderboard.
“If you think about it, there are always two or three guys from the older generation who are up there in the Masters, and it is normally Freddie Couples and Bernhard. It is exciting to see on the one hand, but a little bit embarrassing on the other, that they score better than so many of us regular tour players each year!
“They have a knowledge of the golf course and also a comfort on it. Some players find their best golf in that Masters atmosphere, they find a sense of harmony. It is a very special place, and players like Bernhard and Freddie use it to their advantage.”
When asked what advice Langer has given Kaymer for playing Augusta National, Kaymer jokes: “It would take a long time to discuss all of that!”
Even now, when Kaymer is preparing to play in the Masters for the eighth time, Langer can still show him approach angles and shot options that Kaymer has not thought of before.
“It’s about angles, and about shot positions,” adds Kaymer. “For example, today on 13, I asked Bernhard if he thought the best lay-up was on the right or the left of the fairway, for today’s pin position.
“Bernhard said: ‘Neither of those’. I said: ‘But you have to lay up somewhere.’
“Then Bernhard explained that he would just try to hit the ball very close to the creek with the second shot, and then just hit a bump, like a chip and run, to get the ball up to the top of the green. In situations like this, Bernhard sometimes just gives me a completely different option.”
Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer are ambassadors for Mercedes-Benz, and Mercedes-Benz is global sponsor of the 2015 Masters Tournament