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Ken Borland

Frontrunners know it won’t be easy

Posted on January 07, 2013 by Ken

Frontrunners Martin Kaymer and Louis Oosthuizen are in agreement that winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge will not be easy at the punishing Gary Player Country Club course on Sunday.

Kaymer and Oosthuizen played themselves into the final two-ball under cloudy skies in Saturday’s third round, but will be bringing slightly different mindsets to Sunday’s closing round.

Oosthuizen, who is on four-under-par and trails Kaymer by a shot, does not believe anyone is going to be able to run away with the tournament on the final day.

“I can’t see someone shooting 65 or 66. The course is playing really difficult and I won’t be surprised if seven-under wins it. You’ve just got to stay very patient and make sure you give yourself a shout with four or five holes to play,” Oosthuizen said.

“You need to hit as many greens as possible. You can’t just go for the pins, that would be silly. The best score in the tournament has been 69 and I cannot see someone shooting much lower than that,” the South African said.

Kaymer is in pole position going into the final round, but he said that does not mean he will lock away all his attacking ambitions.

“It will be a mistake to try and defend my lead. You need to hit fairways and greens and that will lead to a few chances. But if you don’t hit fairways, you’re not going to get any birdies.

“I’ve been very surprised how difficult the course is though, so I won’t be too aggressive. Even level-par is a good score in these conditions,” Kaymer said.

Kaymer displaced NGC defending champion Lee Westwood as the world number one in early 2011, but his form has waned this year, before returning just in time for Europe’s miraculous Ryder Cup victory, in which the German sank the putt that ensured they would retain the famous trophy.

“I played very well before the Ryder Cup and I was ready to go two or three weeks before the tournament. Winning it was a huge thing, the ultimate, because I’ll never be under more pressure.

“I haven’t had a win otherwise in 2012, but it’s still been a very good year because I’ve made progress with my swing. I’m hitting the ball very well and I’m happy with my game. Golf is a game of patience and I still have 20 years ahead of me. Or 30 if I’m like Bernhard,” Kaymer quipped in reference to his countryman Bernhard Langer, who won the Nedbank Champions Challenge for the senior golfers on Saturday.


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