Kaymer seals Ryder Cup spot after securing US PGA victory
Martin Kaymer sealed a maiden major victory and a spot on the European team for the Ryder Cup in October by beating Bubba Watson in a three-hole aggregate play-off to land the US PGA Championship.
However, much of the talk will revolve around Dustin Johnson, who missed out on a spot in the play-off after gaining a two-stroke penalty for grounding his club in a bunker on the final hole.
Johnson was a shot clear of the chasing back when firing his tee shot down the 18th to the right of the fairway and onto a bank.
His ball had come to rest on some hard-packed sand surrounded by grass and he was unaware that this was one of the estimated 1,200 bunkers positioned on the Whistling Straits course until being told by a rules official when on the green.
This left Kaymer and Watson to face the play-off and after being level after the opening two holes, the German’s victory was sealed when his opponent found water with his approach at the third.
Kaymer now sits third on the world points list behind Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy, with the top four certain of a place in Colin Montgomerie’s European team for the Ryder Cup.
Ian Poulter, Ross Fisher, Francesco Molinari, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Paul Casey are also in qualification positions through the European points list, but things can still change as points only stop being calculated after the Johnnie Walker Championship in a fortnight.
Europe are currently 8/15 to win the Ryder Cup, with Montgomerie also preparing to name three wildcards by August 28th.
Meanwhile, Corey Pavin’s eight automatic selections are now guaranteed following the US PGA Championship, with four debutants securing places in the team.
Watson, Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Jeff Overton will all be heading to Celtic Manor for their first Ryder Cup appearance and will be joined on the USA team by Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk.
Tiger Woods and Anthony Kim are among the star names needing one of four wildcards to take part.
The USA team are 15/8 to defend the Ryder Cup after winning 16.5 to 11.5 two years ago at Valhalla under the leadership of Paul Azinger.