Martin Kaymer paid a visit to Atlanta Athletic Club on Monday as part of the PGA Championship’s annual media day. After playing the course in the company of some PGA bigwigs, the 26-year-old sat down and explained where he felt the challenges in negotiating the course would lie come August.
The Highlands course, significantly lengthened and re-contoured since it lasted played host to the PGA Championship in 2001, sounds like it will offer a predictably exacting test of golf.
“I don’t see a guy winning it with 15, 16 or 18 under par. I just struggle to see that…I’m sure they’re going to change the rough a little bit, as well. The greens are gonna be firmer and faster. So I’m expecting a single-digit under par score – that would be my guess for winning here.
“I know they’ve changed it a little bit, but I can see why David Toms won here. He’s not one of the longest hitters on tour, but he’s very straight.”
Kaymer might be convinced that a tough week’s golf lies on the horizon, but PGA President Allen Wronowski, the German’s playing partner during his practice round, likes the odds of title defence.
“It was pretty doggone impressive.
“He drives the ball eight miles. … He’s got to be one of the longest players ever. He can’t weigh more than about 155 and he hits it 320 yards – and outside of that he’s got the touch of a surgeon around the greens… If you looking for a chink (in his armor), I couldn’t find it.
“I would say there’s a pretty good chance of him defending. He was a couple under par today and it was a cakewalk.”
So, a major venue has decided to make itself longer and the PGA President thinks the defending champion quite a golfer. Surprises all-round.