Former world number one Martin Kaymer hopes to continue his strong start to the season in the Oman Open after admitting to taking his game for granted.
Kaymer spent eight weeks at the top of the rankings in 2011 but this time last year was in danger of dropping out of the top 200 and is without a tournament victory since claiming his second major title in the 2014 US Open.
The 35-year-old is currently ranked 112th after starting the year with three straight top-20 finishes on the European Tour and has not given up hope of getting back to his best.
“I was just going with the flow the last two or three years and took my game for granted a little bit,” Kaymer said.
“I didn’t really work on one specific thing and the last few years it was quite clear where my weakness was in my game as I was losing a lot of shots on the green.
“Outside 10-12 feet I couldn’t make a putt and that led to me not scoring and shooting those low scores that give you an opportunity on Sunday.
“I worked a lot on the short game over the winter and I also wanted to drive the ball further without screwing up my natural shot and that takes some planning and communicating with the coach.
“You have to be brave with these things. It’s easy to try and change something but it doesn’t really go the way that you want it right away and then you fall back into your old habits.
Cambia Portland Classic R2
“I wanted to and needed to change something and become an even more complete player to try and win tournaments again. I really miss that feeling.
“This year I have a very good plan and I’m trying to qualify for all the big events such as the Ryder Cup, Olympic Games, Masters and The Open Championship.
“I’ve played in all those events before but this year that’s not going to be the case so it’s something I’m looking forward to try and achieve.
“I can’t really tell you where my game is at right now, which is the exciting thing. I know I’m doing the right thing but I’ve just got to be patient and let it happen.
“The expectations are quite high because you’re doing everything right and hitting 63 in a practice round but you still need to do that in a tournament so it’s just a matter of time.”
Kaymer will play the first two rounds at Al Mouj Golf alongside 2018 champion Joost Luiten and China’s Li Haotong.