Ryder Cup hero signs up for SA Open
4 October 2012
The second oldest national open in golf, the South African Open, received a big boost on Wednesday when it was confirmed that European Ryder Cup star Martin Kaymer will tee it up in next month's tournament.
The German ace will be making his first appearance in the South African Open, which will be played at the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate from 15 to 18 November. He'll do so with his role in a dramatic Ryder Cup still very much in the minds of South African golf fans.
At the Medinah Country Club on Sunday, the former world number one holed the crucial eight-foot putt that gave him not only a victory in his match against American Steve Stricker, but also ensured that Europe retained the Ryder Cup.
An incredible comeback
It put the seal on an incredible comeback. The Europeans had been 10-4 behind after the completion of Saturday's competition, but fought back to take a 14½ to 13½ victory over the USA.
"We are delighted to have Martin in the field," said tournament chairman Khaya Ngqula, "especially after his performance for Europe in the Ryder Cup, which was a case of German precision at its finest.
"This is going to be a rare opportunity for South African golf fans to not only witness a former world number one and Major winner, but a current Ryder Cup hero," he added.
"This gives further weight to the South African Open's status as a global tournament."
'More tournament in SA'
Kaymer said he is looking forward to visiting South Africa. "I've never played the South African Open before, but I think we should play more tournaments in South Africa in general," he reckoned.
"It's a beautiful place. I've been there two or three times and I always look forward to going to South Africa.
"Besides playing golf, there is so much to experience. For me, it was always great to take friends and family to experience South Africa."
With the field for the South African Open still be to be finalised and several other big names yet to be announced, Kaymer will certainly be one of the biggest guns to step onto the fairways of the Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate.
Since turning professional in 2005, he has claimed 18 victories worldwide, including a Major in 2010, when he won the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits after defeating Bubba Watson in a playoff.
Early in 2011, he climbed to the number one position on the world ranking, and although his 2012 season has not been up to his usual high standard, he will head to South Africa buoyed by his role for Europe in the Ryder Cup.
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