The German admits he is feeling the effects of a busy year, but after not touching a club since the final day of the DP World Tour Championship nine days ago, he is ready to put in a strong performance in the US$6.5million event at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City, South Africa.
Kaymer won the tournament in 2012, a year before it became part of The European Tour International Schedule, and he hopes to feed off those positive memories to sign off a brilliant year in style.
“It has been a long season, probably the longest I’ve ever played,” said the 29 year old, who won his second Major at Pinehurst No.2 in June and helped Europe retain The Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in September. “After Dubai (DP World Tour Championship), I didn’t hit a golf ball until this morning when I warmed up for the pro-am.
“There won’t be much practice this week as it’s just about conserving energy. I know the golf course well and I won here in 2012, so there are a lot of positive memories.
“It’s an important tournament and it would be nice to make a strong start to the 2015 campaign, but it’s also the end of a long year and you want to enjoy it a little bit. You want to enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the country and maybe go on a game drive. My brother is here too and he’s never been to South Africa, so maybe we’ll do something like that.
“When I play on Thursday I’m not going to be tired on the golf course. Once the tournament starts, there’s no problem with motivation. Of course you want to play and you want to win.
“I’ve got one more tournament after this and then I’ll be heading home to Germany for a good break. It’s been years since I spent Christmas in Germany so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Kaymer is joined at Sun City by Ryder Cup team-mates Thomas Bjørn, the defending champion, Jamie Donaldson, Stephen Gallacher and Lee Westwood. Miguel Angel Jiménez, who was a vice captain to Paul McGinley at Gleneagles, is also in the line-up.
The field comprises 30 players from The European Tour, the US PGA Tour, the Sunshine Tour, the Asian Tour, the Japan Golf Tour and the PGA Tour of Australasia. The top five South Africans in the Official World Golf Ranking are also exempt.
Before it became part of The European Tour International Schedule, it was played every year since 1981 and has an impressive list of past champions including Seve Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie and Ernie Els.