European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley had a sense US Open champion Martin Kaymer was on the verge of producing something special and believes the “low maintenance” German will make an ideal team member at Gleneagles.
Kaymer won his second major title with a dominant display at Pinehurst last week, setting or equalling numerous records on his way to a commanding eight-shot victory.
It was the 29-year-old’s second wire-to-wire win in the space of six weeks after his triumph in the Players Championship, where McGinley was impressed by the former world number one’s reaction to the hard-fought success.
McGinley, who had dinner with Kaymer late on the Sunday evening at Sawgrass, said yesterday: “It was nice to hear the debrief, but it was also very insightful for me.
“It was very clear from what he was saying to me and what he was saying to his caddie that this wasn’t a rejoicing, shouting from the rooftops, we are back on the top of the summit again. It’s a start.
“And it’s no surprise he’s followed it up six weeks later to win a major. He was very clear that this was the start of a surge and he’s been proved right.”
Kaymer admitted on Sunday that he struggled to cope with the extra attention brought on by his first major title in the US PGA Championship in 2010, which led to an eight-week spell as world number one the following year.
He also said he would not have picked himself as a wild card for the 2012 Ryder Cup team after a loss of form, but having secured the final qualifying place he had little choice and ended up holing the putt which ensured Europe retained the trophy after the ‘Miracle at Medinah’.
“He’s a very interesting guy,” added McGinley, who was a vice-captain to Jose Maria Olazabal in Chicago.
“He gives a lot away about himself when he gives a press conference, he’s very insightful about himself and he’s very honest.
“He’s kind of happy to be guided, whatever the captain says. That’s what we saw with Jose and Monty (Colin Montgomerie, captain in 2010), as well. There’s no reason to think he won’t be any different with me, hopefully anyway.”
McGinley has named Sam Torrance and Des Smyth as two of his vice-captains for Gleneagles and confirmed that his other two assistants would be younger men currently playing on the European Tour.
“I want to see who the 12 players are before I look at (vice-captains), but safe to say those two will be current players, players that are still playing on Tour,” added McGinley.
Scotland’s Paul Lawrie is a likely candidate for one of the positions if he fails to make the team.