Martin Kaymer put a positive spin on things when discussing his weekend in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, insisting that his major blip when he squandered a 10-shot lead on the final day was one of the biggest learning experiences he has had on the golf course.
“I don’t want to call it bad experience because it wasn’t. Days like that may create a bad scorecard, but it reveals truth about yourself; that we are not a machine and that you’re not the German engineering which usually works, but once a while gets stuck too. Therefore, it was a brilliant day for me.
“I am feeling very calm because I am fine. I don’t see it (the meltdown) as negative. I didn’t lose much. I may have lost a few World Ranking Points, a trophy and some money. But I can handle all those three things,” said the double Major winner ahead of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, dubbed the ‘Major of the Middle East.’
“I have good memories of this tournament. The field is good and so is the course. There is nothing that you shouldn’t look forward to. I am approaching this week as a happy Martin Kaymer,” said the German who finished runner-up to Tiger Woods in 2008 despite a stunning birdie-birdie-eagle finish.
It was super exciting then because I was just over a year on the Tour. I had a chance to force a playoff with Tiger, but he birdied the 18th to win by one.”
Meanwhile, Henrik Stenson is also hoping that good memories of his victory in the 2007 edition of the event will spur him to another success.
“It’s great to be back at Emirates Golf Club,” said the 39-year-old Swede. “I made Dubai my home for almost ten years and I played and practiced an awful lot here at Emirates, so I feel like I know this course inside out. Then I had the success in 2007 and another few high finishes.
“So it’s great to be back, I will hopefully have lots of support and a really enjoyable week. I had a good finish on Saturday in Doha, the best round of the week for me, finished off with a couple birdies, and got a decent result,” said Stenson who finished last week’s Qatar Masters with an impressive six under par 66 to steal into a share of 13th place.
“Of course, the local knowledge and slight improvement in form should give me the chance to hopefully go a little bit better than I did in Doha.”
Seve Ballesteros and José Maria Olazábal, both multiple Major winners, are among the Spaniards that have etched their names on the iconic Omega Dubai Desert Classic trophy and Stenson’s 2014 Ryder Cup team-mate Sergio Garcia is hoping that he can add his name to that list.
The World Number Six also finished well in Qatar with a final-round 67 and he is hoping to take that momentum into this week as he attempts to become the fourth Spanish player to win this event in the past six years, after Miguel Angel Jiménez (2010), Rafa Cabrera-Bello (2011) and Alvaro Quiros (2012).
“Any time you get your name on a trophy, it’s a great feeling,” said the 34 year old. “It’s one of the reasons why we love playing the game and why we practice so hard.
“Obviously it’s going to take a lot of good things to do that. I think Dubai has done a great job, and I feel like the field this year is probably the strongest it’s been in the last three or four years. You know, it’s not going to be easy and it’s going to take a lot of patience, a lot of good golf and some good things to happen here and there when you need them the most.
“I think we’ve had five Spanish winners, if I recall, and it would be nice to make it six this week.”