Boy Wunderkind: Get to know big-hitting German Martin Kaymer

Martin Kaymer, British Open, Royal Birkdale
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Martin Kaymer finished second to Tiger Woods at the Dubai Desert Classic.

Supersonic Youth
Kaymer, from Dusseldorf, is the only player in the World Top 50 under the age of 25. He shot 59 in a mini-tour event in Europe. After winning twice in eight starts on the Challenge Tour in 2006, he was European Tour Rookie of the Year in 2007, with five top-10 finishes and more than $1 million in earnings. He won the 2008 European Tour season opener, the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, as well as the BMW International Open in late June.

His Hero
Ernie Els. "I love his swing," Kaymer says. After the two were paired in the final round in Dubai, when Kaymer finished birdie-birdie-eagle, Els said, "He's going to be something. He's long, he's got great touch. You'll see a lot of him."

Sheik Magnet
Kaymer placed second to Tiger Woods at the Dubai Desert Classic. "We were sitting in the players' lounge and had a little chat," Kaymer says. "We were waiting there for the sheik, for the prize giving out. [Tiger] congratulated me on winning in Abu Dhabi and told me he'd heard a lot about me. He's a very nice person." Kaymer also met Arnold Palmer at Bay Hill. The King ambled up to the kid on the practice green and said, "Are you the German?"

Drive For Show
At 295 yards per blast, he was 19th in driving distance on the 2007 European Tour. Alas, he was 102nd in putts per round, but he has vowed to improve his game on the greens.

Next Stop: Birkdale
Kaymer teed it up in the 2005 British Amateur at Royal Birkdale, so unlike Augusta or Torrey Pines, he's familiar with the course.

Have It Your Way
He was recognized in an airport Burger King last year and ate for free. "It was so cool," he said.

No Pain, No Game
German winters are "so cold, you don't want to be there," Kaymer says. Which is why he spends the colder months (including Christmas and his birthday, December 28th) practicing in Scottsdale, Arizona. "It's the only way to improve."

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