HOYLAKE, England (AP) - No one had a brighter smile than Martin Kaymer when he stepped onto the practice green outside the clubhouse at Royal Liverpool.
Yes, he is the U.S. Open champion.
His country is much more.
Kaymer celebrated Sunday night as Germany captured its first World Cup since 1990 by beating Argentina in extra time.
Now if he can bring some of that magic to the links of Hoylake for the British Open. Kaymer was the first to bring up the lack of German success at golf’s oldest championship after winning at Pinehurst No. 2. He made reference to the “German Grand Slam,” for this is the only major his country does not have. Kaymer previously won the PGA Championship, while Bernhard Langer is a two-time Masters champion.
German history is limited in the British Open. Here are five moments that stand out:
5. FRANK KECK
Not to suggest that Germany has a sparse golfing history in the British Open before Langer came along, but among the first players listed in the records was Frank Keck, an amateur who finished dead last among 96 players in St. Andrews in 1957.
He is listed as being from Germany.
Turns out Keck was a champion golfer from Illinois and a lieutenant in the Air Force. According to newspaper accounts, he happened to be stationed in Germany.
Keck made news as one of the qualifiers for The Open.
Alas, he opened with an 83 and followed with an 82 to miss the cut by 18 shots.
4. MARTIN KAYMER
One year after winning the PGA Championship, and still No. 3 in the world, Kaymer opened with rounds of 68-69 at Royal St. George’s in 2011 and was just one shot behind Darren Clarke going into the weekend.