August 28 2013
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- Martin Kaymer has won a major, been No. 1 in the world and played in Ryder Cups.
But he has never been in the position he is in going into this week's Deutsche Bank Championship.
"In the past I was qualified for everything, I never needed to worry about it," Kaymer said. "As long as you're in the top 50 in the world there's no problem. But the FedExCup is a little bit different."
Kaymer, in the Playoffs for the first time after joining the PGA TOUR this year, arrived at TPC Boston on Wednesday on the outside looking in. He's 90th in the FedExCup standings and only the top 70 will advance to the BMW Championship in two weeks.
Last week, Kaymer survived the first round of the Playoffs by making the cut at The Barlcays and finishing in a tie for 50th.
He'll need a lot better than that this week.
"My brother is very good at math and he said, 'You have to finish top 24,'" Kaymer said. "So that's my goal. I trust him on his counting, his math skills."
Kaymer is also able to trust his golf swing again, something he wasn't always able to do after winning the 2010 PGA Championship and ascending to No. 1 in the world.
The pressure became too much and Kaymer cracked, trying to change his ball flight to better fit Augusta National.
He has since ditched that idea and is focused instead on simply playing golf and adjusting to his first full year in America.
"I lost a little bit of focus," Kaymer said of his struggles after reaching No. 1. "It was not that much fun anymore. It was enjoyable, but I always felt rushed. Coming to the golf tournaments, everybody wants something from you. So it took some time to adjust.
"It's not that important always what other people think. It's more important what you believe in. I learned not to let it get to me."
He's also learning how to juggle playing here full-time while still maintaining his European Tour status.
Between the two tours, it has added up to a lot of golf for Kaymer. Not that he's concerned.
"The good thing is you don't need to spend that much time on the range any more," he joked. "If you keep playing you don't need to practice as much."
Now the only question is how much longer he'll be able to play here.