Europe's Ryder Cup hero Martin Kaymer succeeds where mentor Bernhard Langer failed
Last Updated: 01/10/12 7:48am
Martin Kaymer claims he thought about Bernhard Langer before holing the putt that kept the Ryder Cup in Europe's hands.
Langer missed a six-foot putt on the final green at Kiawah Island in 1991 that gave the Americans victory.
Kaymer was left facing the exact same length putt against Steve Stricker at Medinah - however unlike his mentor, the 27-year-old holed it.
"I did think about him, especially when I walked around the hole and read the putt from the other side," said Kaymer.
"There was a footprint in my line (with Langer it was a spike-mark), but it was not that bad. I thought 'okay, it's not going to happen again, it's not going to happen again' and to be honest with you I didn't really think about missing.
"There was only one choice you have - you have to make it. I was not that nervous. I was so very controlled because I knew exactly what I had to do.
Europe retain Ryder Cup
"But if you ask me now how that putt went and how it rolled, I have no idea - I can't remember.
"When it went in I was just very happy and that is something that I will remember probably for the rest of my life and hopefully I can talk about when I have some grandchildren one day."
Kaymer was approached by captain Jose Maria Olazabal on the 16th hole to be told his game was absolutely vital.
"He told me 'we need your point and I don't really care how you do it - just deliver'.
"But I liked that. That's very straightforward - that's the way we Germans are."
What made it all the more satisfying was that Kaymer sat out one session on Friday and all of Saturday's play.
"It was very difficult - you want to prove that you can do better than what I showed on Friday.
"I talked to Bernhard (in Chicago for the match). I texted him on Friday night and asked him if we could sit down on Saturday.
"I would say I was not as inspired as I should be, I thought, and he has been a fantastic role model for me.
"He's always there if I need him and that is very rare to have someone like him that you can ask whenever you need to.
"But I got even more inspired by [Ian] Poulter yesterday. He has been fantastic for the team - a great pick by Olazabal.
"Ian should be set in the Ryder Cup forever."