Hoylake: Martin Kaymer, the US Open champion, has revealed how he played a part in Germany’s victory in the World Cup in Brazil — by encouraging the footballers to play golf before their matches.
Kaymer said on Tuesday that he had been in almost daily contact with the German team during the competition, having played golf with a number of them during visits to Munich. He also spoke of the effect the team’s triumph on Sunday night had on him.
“It was probably the first time in my career as an athlete where I was very proud to be a German athlete,” he said. “The win is one thing, that they won the World Cup, but I think the way they played football, they way they carried themselves — very grounded people even after the win against Brazil — was very unusual.
“The planning was good, the people behind them, and then you see the whole country changing. It reminded me a little bit of when the World Cup was in Germany in 2006. It was so good to see what sport can do to you. Even we Germans laughed a lot! ”
Kaymer even thanked Thomas Mueller for using the tournament to raise the profile of golf in Germany. He added: “They didn’t have only one star on the team. They have like six, seven, eight stars. At the end of the day there were probably 15 or 16 great players.
“And they all kept it together very well and they fitted for one team. It’s a great inspiration for me as an athlete and I hope for a lot of people in Germany.
“After I won the US Open, Thomas Mueller had an interview and one of the first things he said was ‘It was very nice to start the World Cup because Martin Kaymer won the Open’,” which was very nice.
“We are all trying to work it out that golf becomes more important and bigger in Germany. So it’s a very good relationship because it’s very natural. It’s not forced, it’s not fake.
“Everybody knows that a few of the guys play golf. Most of the players I know are from Munich so when I’m there we play once in a while. We compare our sports. And fitness-wise we help each other. Or at least they help me.”
Kaymer, who is tipped to do well this week following his wins at Pinehurst and the The Players’ Championship at Sawgrass, said that the German side had sent him videos from Brazil of their golfing exploits ahead of crucial matches.
“Some of the players sent me some videos, how they were putting in the room, playing golf on the course which was next door, some chipping on the beach,” he said.