After opening with scores of 70-74, Martin Kaymer would have been thrilled with a solid weekend and perhaps sneaking in a top 10 finish. While he’s still trailing leader Dustin Johnson by eight shots, Kaymer went out and fired a record-breaking 10-under 62 to surge up the leaderboard.
“I made a lot of birdies, which is really nice today,” said Kaymer, who won the 2011 WGC-HSBC Championship at Sheshan International Golf Club. “I didn’t really play much different than the last few days. I just made a few putts, a couple unexpected ones. I think you need those to shoot really low.
“I just hit a lot of great golf shots. It was really nice. It was really enjoyable and after six, seven holes, you think about how low can today be, because if you hit the ball that well, then yeah, it was 10-under.”
Golf’s magic number, 59, did cross Kaymer’s mind briefly, especially after he made three consecutive birdies on nos. 4, 5 and 6 (he started on no. 10).
“You have three holes to go and you need three birdies,” he said. “I thought I had a good chance on 7, but then I went for the green on 8, but got in the bunker and had an unlucky lie, and had another chance on 9. You can’t make them all. It was definitely my thought. It would be nice to shoot (59) twice.”
Despite that, the 28-year-old from Germany didn’t tighten up and let his nerves throw him off, which he noted to his caddie Craig Connelly.
“When we walked down 7, 8, I said, I feel really calm,” said Kaymer. “It was strange, when I was shooting 59 in the past in 2006, I didn’t really think about 59, but I was more nervous and very tight and today was really enjoyable because I didn’t play special.
“I made it really easy for myself, and sometimes that’s the difference between shooting 10-under par or only 1- 2-under sometimes. There’s not much of a difference; you need a little luck.”
Kaymer hit all 18 greens and only needed 26 putts on his way to his record-setting today. Actually, in 2011 Kaymer tied the now previous course record, nine-under 63, which was matched by Johnson in the second round.