Posted on: 01 Dec 2012
report by Ursula Brown, Managing Editor and photography by Patrick Allen, National Photographic Editor Cape Info SA (assisted by Xylan de Jager).
Martin Kaymer recovered from an early bogey to fire a third-round score of 70 on Saturday and will carry a one stroke lead into final round of Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club.
The German found trouble at the par-four third hole, and in the end did well to salvage a bogey as he slipped back to two-under for the tournament. But his display from that point onward was polished, as he made no further bogeys and finished the day on five-under courtesy of three birdies. “It was a little bit more difficult than yesterday I guess, especially the first few holes,” he said after his round. “I think a big putt for me was on the 12th – I hit a putt from 10 feet downhill and right-to-left to save par and that gave me the motivation to keep playing well.
“I just played very solid – I hit a lot of fairways again and hit a lot of good putts. I also had a lot of lip-outs, so it could have been a little bit better, but two-under par is a very acceptable round.”
Much has been documented about the resurgence of Martin Kaymer in the latter half of 2012, and, although one always felt his return to form was inevitable, it came from a lot of hard work. A “slump” is often a relative term, but in the case of Kaymer, the degree of his dip in form during 2012 is given context by the measure of his success in the years prior.
The German turned pro in 2005, and cut his teeth on the Challenge Tour for two years after that. He joined the main tour on a full-time basis in 2007, and finished a very creditable 41st in the Race to Dubai standings that year.
Things were to get better and better for the man from Dusseldorf, as he finished eighth and third in the Race to Dubai for 2008 and 2023. His biggest year, however, was 2010, as he wrapped up the standings, represented Europe in their Ryder Cup win at Celtic Manor, clinched his first major title when he won the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits and reached number one in the world rankings.
The local crowds will be salivating at the prospect of a South African winner though, as Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel head into day four at four and three-under respectively. Oosthuizen was particularly impressive on the day, as he amassed five birdies en route to score of 69, and will be paired with Kaymer in the final round.
2012 Leaderboard - End of play Day three
Pic 1: Louis fans in full support