No shoulder woes for Kaymer at PGA Championship
Martin Kaymer of Germany hits a tee shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 96th PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club on August 5, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky - by Sam Greenwood
Kaymer was a runaway winner two months ago at Pinehurst after jumping ahead by six strokes after 36 holes on his way to an eight-stroke triumph and his second major title after the 2010 PGA Championship.
But last month at Royal Liverpool, the 29-year-old German was bothered by shoulder issues that hampered his practice sessions at Hoylake.
"Once in a while you wake up and you have a little issue here and there," Kaymer said. "The shoulder was quite surprising for me because I really couldn't hit one normal golf shot until Thursday morning so at the British Open my practice rounds were very limited.
"But now everything is fine. It just came out of nowhere. It's just something that you have to deal with when it comes up but it's nothing major."
This week's showdown at Valhalla is the year's last major, however, and Kaymer has some experience with the course from watching Europe lose to the United States in the 2008 Ryder Cup.
"The overview was brilliant," Kaymer said. "I learned a lot and it was a huge inspiration for me to make the 2010 team."
Kaymer is again looking for a fast start early to get ahead of the field in his quest for another major crown, although his last one came after a victory in May at the Players Championship.
"You can prepare yourself as good as possible for these big events, but there's always some luck involved," Kaymer said.
"I'm not playing bad, otherwise I wouldn't have won those two big events. It's just a matter of finding that momentum fairly early in the tournament."
The small details matter greatly in majors, Kaymer said.
"It's not so much about making a lot of birdies," Kaymer said.
"Sometimes a (par) save from seven, eight feet for par is so much more important, like those momentum things that keeps the tournament going and gives you mentally a lot of confidence.
"It's small things. Sometimes it's just a very small margin that can make a big difference in the end of the rounds and you can take that into the next day."
But Kaymer took issue with anyone who might call his lopsided US Open triumph easy.
"You can't really say it's easy for any kind of major win," Kaymer said. "The last nine holes at Pinehurst were a bit more comfortable to play than if you lead by only one or two shots. Usually it's very stressful.
"But easy, you can't use that word when it comes down to winning a major."