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Kaymer's belief never wavered as his style of play found the rough

By Karl MacGinty

Martin Kaymer's friends may only have been joking when they labelled him a one-hit wonder, but the 29-year-old will take the perfect riposte back to Germany – the US Open trophy.

Kaymer's first major title in the 2010 US PGA Championship came as a shock to the then 25-year-old, who was equally unprepared to cope with becoming world number one six months later.

A fourth consecutive missed cut at the Masters contributed to his spell as number one lasting just eight weeks, but also prompted changes to his swing to cope with the demands of Augusta National, where a draw is more useful than Kaymer's favoured fade.

What followed was hardly a dramatic slump, with a first World Golf Championship event won with a closing 63 in Shanghai later that year, but Kaymer did not win a full-field event in 2012 or 2013.

By the time of his heroics at Medinah in September 2012, Kaymer admitted he would not have picked himself for the Ryder Cup team, but having qualified he had little choice and played just once before his starring role in Sunday's decisive singles.

"It shouldn't sound cocky or arrogant, but I knew it would come," Kaymer said. "I knew that I would play good golf again. There was enough belief there. I just didn't think it would take me that much time to get back where I was, or actually not where I was, I think I play better golf now, I'm more of a complete player.

"It was just a matter of time so it's not a huge surprise to me that I played good golf, it's just a surprise that I won such big tournaments. But I'll take it."

Kaymer has packed a lot into his career already, shooting a round of 59 on the EPD Tour in Germany, holing the putt to ensure Europe retained the Ryder Cup at Medinah and becoming European number one in 2010.

And he has now joined Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Seve Ballesteros as the only men to win two majors and reach world number one before the age of 30.

"It's very tough to compare yourself to those legends," Kaymer added. "When other people want to call me that it's fine, but to win one major is already very nice in your career, but to win two, it means a lot more.

"Some friends called me a one-hit wonder with the majors, obviously in a funny way, and now I can go back and show them this trophy. My next tournament (the BMW International Open) will be in Cologne, where I live, so I will make sure to take it with me.

"It's quite a big proof to yourself that you cannot only win once, but you can win when it matters, you can win big tournaments. And I'm only 29-years-old, so I hope I have another few years ahead."

With Phil Mickelson, Darren Clarke and Els all winning majors in their 40s recently that is certainly true, and Kaymer should be better equipped to handle the attention second time around.

"Four years ago I didn't know what was happening," he added. "I was surprised. I was not expecting myself to win a major at 25. I was surprised about a lot of things.

"I couldn't handle a lot of things that happened in Germany, all the attention. And then becoming number one in the world, it was too much. To be completely honest, it was very difficult to handle everything and to play good golf.

"The swing improvements was one thing. I knew that I would struggle for a while. But getting attention and then you don't win again. So why is that? Why do you change if you win a major, if you are number one in the world? I think we talked about it before and now I won the US Open."

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