Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Analyze This: Kaymer Plays Nearly Mistake-Free; Attitude Adjustment Helps Former No. 1 Match Course Record

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Analyze This: Kaymer Plays Nearly Mistake-Free; Attitude Adjustment Helps Former No. 1 Match Course Record

Article excerpt

Byline: Jim Nasella

Martin Kaymer has a simple solution as to how to tie the course record at The TPC Sawgrass Players Stadium Course.

He just quit thinking.

The German, a former No. 1 player in the world, proved he has overcome paralysis by analysis by firing a 9-under-par 63 to take a two-shot the lead after Thursday's first round at The Players Championship.

Included in the sterling effort was a best-ever tournament nine-hole score 29 which he recorded on the front side, his second nine of the day. On the day, Kaymer hit 17 of 18 greens in regulation (he missed on number 13) and had nine one-putts.

The 63 tied Fred Couples (1992), Greg Norman (1994) and Roberto Castro (last year) for the all-time best at the course and is part of Kaymer's recovery process from trying to be too perfect the past couple of years.

"Well, I stopped thinking, that's pretty much the bottom line,'' he said. "I thought a lot the last two years about swing changes, about this and this, that every shot I made I reflect on it, what I did wrong, what I did right.''

Before the Masters in April, Kaymer said things started clicking and his instinct started returning as he was able to pretty much hit any shot needed.

"It's just a matter of getting the confidence and then letting it happen,'' the 2010 PGA champion said. "You can play the safe way, but sometimes you need to try the impossible to make it that you know it's possible. Does that make sense? You have to hit very special golf shots sometimes where you know you can hit them and you gain a lot of confidence from that.''

Kaymer's problems began sometime around 2011 when he ascended to the world's top player. Expectations grew and he didn't know how to handle what was being thrown his way.

Fans were expecting perfection and questioned each time he didn't win. …

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