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May 12 2011

6:39 PM

Driver change sparks Kaymer

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Martin Kaymer hits his tee shot on the short par-4 sixth on Thursday.

By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- He calls it a change. Really, it's just an adjustment. A tweak.

A little here, a little there. Just getting better every swing.

Martin Kaymer spent the first three days of the week working hard on his latest adjustments, then let it fly in the opening round to open THE PLAYERS with a 5-under-par 67.

"I'm still working on it,'' he said. " . . . It's just something that I wanted to change anyways, and today it worked out fantastic, and I will keep working on it.  Then one day when everything gets together, then I will play very well.''

Give or take a putt, 67 was good enough to leave him three shots off the early pace set by Nick Watney.

"Today, I just let it go,'' said the reigning PGA champion. "I thought about (the changes) this morning, then just went out and played.''

He did say playing the back nine was a bit different because it was just him and Matt Kuchar, who shot 69, after Tiger Woods withdrew after nine holes.

"You can chill,'' Kaymer said of playing a twosome. "You can walk very slow, your routine, you have plenty of time, and you're still waiting.  Obviously it would have been nice if we wouldn't play in the heat; that would have been better.  But it's always nice to play in a twosome.  You don't have to wait; you just play your game.  You have time to think about your shots sometimes if you need to.  Nobody is rushing you. ''

In addition to the swing changes, Kaymer also changed TaylorMade drivers from an R9 to an R11.

"I was pleased with a lot of parts of my game today,'' said Kaymer, who went out in 33 and back back in 34. " I was driving the ball much better. .  . . "So I hit a lot of fairways, and then I could finally go for some flags.  It was fairly easy in the morning.  It was soft.  The pins were not too tough, so I just hit a lot of good wedges to the holes, and I could make the putts."

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