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Kaymer 'knew' his form would pick up again after tumbling down rankings

Martin Kaymer had been teased at times by his friends for being a one-hit wonder.

Martin Kaymer celebrates his US Open victory
Martin Kaymer celebrates his US Open victory

The 29-year-old German found his ideal riposte on Sunday on the Pinehurst No.2 course: the US Open trophy.

His first major title triumph in the 2010 US PGA Championship came as a surprise to Kaymer, who barely had enough time to get used to the success when he became the world No.1 just six months later. Such an illustrious status would ebb away within just eight weeks as he missed four cuts in succession.

Kaymer continued to tumble down the rankings but has since steadied his form by attending to his swing; finding that a draw is more useful to his previously favoured fade.

He would endure an inauspicious run of form in the interim, though, winning a first World Golf Championship event with a ­closing 63 in Shanghai later that year but failing to triumph in a full-field event in either 2012 or 2013. By the time of his heroics at Medinah in September 2012, Kaymer admitted that he would not have picked himself for the Ryder Cup team. He had played only out of a sense of duty.

Indeed, just five weeks before his stunning win at Pinehurst, Kaymer entered the Players Championship ranked only No.61 in the world but went on to card a course record- equalling 63 in the first round on his way to a wire-to-wire victory.

"It shouldn't sound cocky or arrogant, but I knew it would come," said Kaymer. "I knew that I would play good golf again. There was enough belief there. I just didn't think it would take me that much time to get back where I was, or actually not where I was, I think I play better golf now. I'm more of a complete player.

"It was just a matter of time so it's not a huge surprise to me that I played good golf, it's just a surprise that I won such big tournaments. That's a surprise. But I'll take it."

Kaymer has packed a lot into his career already, from carding a round of 59 on the EPD Tour in Germany to holing the putt to ensure Europe retained the Ryder Cup at Medinah and becoming the No.1-ranked player in Europe in 2010.

He has also joined Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Seve Balles­teros as the only men to have won two majors and reached world No.1 before the age of 30.

"It's very tough to compare yourself to those legends," said the German. "When other people want to call me that it's fine, but to win one major is already very nice in your career, but to win two, it means a lot more.

"Some friends called me a one-hit wonder with the majors, obviously in a funny way, and now I can go back and show them this trophy. My next tournament (the BMW International Open) will be in Cologne, where I live, so I will make sure to take that trophy with me.

"It's quite a big proof to yourself that you cannot only win once, but you can win when it matters, you can win big tournaments. And I'm only 29 years old, so I hope I have another few years ahead of me."

With Phil Mickelson, Darren Clarke and Els all winning majors in their 40s recently that is certainly true, and Kaymer should be better equipped to handle the attention second time around.

"Four years ago I didn't know what's happening," he added. "I was surprised. I was not expecting myself to win a major at 25. I was surprised about my performance. I was surprised about a lot of things.

"I couldn't handle a lot of things that happened in Germany, all the attention that I could get. And then becoming number one in the world, that added another thing and it was too much. To be completely honest, it was very difficult to handle everything and to play good golf.

"The swing improvements was one thing. I knew that I would struggle a little bit for a while, that I won't be in contention every week. But getting so much attention and then all of a sudden, you don't win again. So why is that? So why do you change? You have to answer all of those questions, and you don't want to answer those questions all the time.

"You answer them once or twice and then that should be enough. But people keep going and I keep answering and answering. Why do you change if you win a major, you become number one in the world? And it's annoying. I don't want to be rude to people, so that's why I kept answering. But I want to say that's enough. I think we talked about it many times before and now I'm sitting here with the US Open."

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