TOUR Insider: Odds and ends from Kaymer's wire-to-wire THE PLAYERS win
May 14, 2014
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
- Martin Kaymer was the fourth player in a row to win THE PLAYERS with 13-under 275. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Such a wild finish, such a long week. There were so many cool little side stories that got lost in the crazy finish to THE PLAYERS Championship Sunday night. And I do mean night ... Martin Kaymer saved everyone from having to come back the following day for a three-hole playoff.
Here are some of the untold or overlooked items from the week:
-- Kaymer’s caddie, Craig Connelly, picked the ball out of the hole on 18 Sunday and pocketed it.
He has no plans to give it back.
“I’ll give him another one, keep that one,” said Connelly, smiling. “No flies on me.”
-- The putter Kaymer made that bending 28-foot putt on 17 and the subsequent 3 1/2-footer on 18 with? Yep, it was the same one he made the clinching putt with in the Ryder Cup comeback at Medinah two years ago. For more on what was inside Kaymer's bag, click here.
-- What did Kaymer and Connelly, who have had their ups and downs through the years, say to each other in their embrace on 18 Sunday night? Connelly said that was for Kaymer to say and in short it was a very appreciative “good job” between the two men.
“I didn’t realize how good Craig was for me until I arranged for him to again caddy for me at Kiawah Island,” Kaymer said. “You get caught up in that serious mindset with everyone so focused on doing their own thing. With Craig back, we’ve had fun. It’s very important you have someone you get along with, both on and off the course, as you can be travelling with them three or four weeks in a row. Craig hadn’t changed in the time we were apart and I don’t think he ever will.”
-- Connelly added that Kaymer was probably at his lowest late last year, still missing to the left far too often. So Kaymer put a lot of time in with coach Gunter Kessler at home in Phoenix and back in Germany, too. As Connelly put it, the “old Martin” started to show up in early March. And with Kaymer playing well you can expect to see a lot of him in the coming weeks. When he’s playing well, he likes to play a lot.
-- Speaking of playing more, Adam Scott is considering adding a tournament to his schedule -- the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, more than likely. “I think I need to play a little bit; potentially might play some more golf rather than go to the range and kind of free up on the golf course,” he said. “I worked hard (this week) and didn't get much out of it. I had a lot of practice after rounds and got myself trying to be too perfect."
-- And speaking of perfect, what did Brandt Snedeker do after a third-round 5-under 67 -- his lowest score of the week -- at TPC Sawgrass? Went straight to the range and started tinkering with different driver heads, of course.
-- What was Justin Rose’s reaction to his two-stroke penalty being rescinded Sunday morning? “I'm certainly surprised,” he said after his round. “Very rarely is that ever the case.” And if nothing else it now sets a precedent moving forward for such situations.
“I felt no pressure to say that the ball had moved, I wanted to keenly know if the ball had moved,” Rose said. “That's why I accepted what happened at the end of (Saturday), because you could argue that, under 50 times magnification, if you started to look at it harder, harder, and harder and almost create that movement in your head, did it move, I don't even know how much, less than a millimeter, maybe. At this point the ball looks like a Lego, it looks like blocks, it's not even round anymore.”
-- Jordan Spieth’s coach Cameron McCormick said that one of the reasons Spieth has had such a good start to his career is that he has always felt comfortable “playing up” a level even going back to his junior days (which sounds odd to say of someone who’s still just 20 years old). “The most nerves I had were the beginning of the round,” Spieth said Sunday. “After 5, I was still extremely comfortable.” Maybe so, but he hit some loose shots coming in and it wasn't the first time. Will he learn and recover from them, like Rory McIlroy did a few years ago? We’ll find out over the next few months with three more majors and plenty of other big events left on the schedule.
-- I’m not sure I can recall a year in which Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have been such non-factors this late into a season. A win by Mickelson next month at Pinehurst would certainly change that.
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2014 THE PLAYERS: The final 24 hours