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Kaymer wins PGA Grand Slam play-off

The last ever Bermuda hosted PGA Grand Slam – the end of season money spinner for the winners of the four majors – has taken a bit of a back seat here, what with the impending Hurricane Gonzalo, on which I’ll write more later, but I did manage to get to Port Royal today to see Martin Kaymer collect the winnings after seeing off Bubba Watson in a one-hole play-off.

The PGA Grand Slam is a great tournament, four of the world’s best players play two rounds of golf in beautiful and relaxed surroundings to crowds both so polite and sparse that you can touch and chat to the players at everyone of it’s 36 holes played over two days.

In typical pre-hurricane weather the sun was out in it’s full glory today and in between a couple of rain showers I got quite burnt. We, three mates and me, were guests of the Fairmont Southampton and thus had good access to both the players and plenty of food and beverages, and I have to say it was one of my favourites in the six PGA Grand Slams I have attended.

After the first day Kaymer was 6-under and led Bubba Watson by two shots. Rory McIlroy ended his Tuesday at 2-under par and Jim Furyk, an addition to the group as Rory won both the Open and the PGA Championship, finished 1-over par.

We followed the players through the first 9 holes and with Furyk playing miserably and with Mcllroy having such a nightmare that rumours spread that he was here nesting with Caroline, it became a two-horse race.

We broke for lunch but caught the players again at the incredibly picturesque 14th and then the open ocean escarpment of the 15th, the German and the Floridian contested quite a dual over the last 5 holes.

Watson, followed intently by his very imposing looking wife recorded birdies on 14, 15 and 16 and coupled with a bogey for Kaymer on the 16th, the contest turned on it’s head as Bubba held a two shot lead with two holes to play.

Watson’s tee shot on 17 ended up in the water, eventually leading to a bogey. Rory, who by now was enjoying himself, played left handed on the edge of the lake and screwed it about 30 ft across to the crowd on the other side and soaked himself in the process. He is human after all!

Kaymer meanwhile on the 17th shot a birdie, leaving him and Bubba standing on the 18th tee at 6-under par each. It was actually very exciting, and although the attendance was bigger than normal, Kaymer and Bubba deserved better.

None the less I was happy to witness it as Watson and Kaymer both shot pars on the 18th, resulting in a hug and a play-off.

The two of them went back to the 18th tee and on their second shots, Kaymer was about 6ft from the pin, while Watson was a little closer.

Kaymer holed for a birdie and missed his birdie putt to hand Kaymer the title and $600,000. Don’t feel sorry for Rory and Furyk, they won $250,000 and $200,000 respectively. It was a good day, and now to preparing the house for a hurricane!

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