martin kaymer

Martin Kaymer has added the PGA Grand Slam trophy to his souvenirs from the Ryder Cup, U.S. Open and Players Championship.

Martin Kaymer wins PGA Grand Slam in sudden death over Bubba Watson

By Josh Ball, Contributor

SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda – Jim Furyk summed it up best. 

"I putted atrocious," he said. "I think we all did as a whole group."

Furyk had a point. The PGA Grand Slam of Golf was decided Wednesday on a missed Bubba Watson birdie putt from four feet, and missed opportunities were largely the story of a final round that went to a playoff because the Masters champion missed a birdie putt from 12 feet on the last hole of regulation to win it.

Kaymer made the putt that mattered – as he had at various points throughout the day – an uphill 10-footer for birdie that gave him the PGA Grand Slam of Golf title to add to his successful season of wins.

The U.S. Open champion had a slightly better time of it on the greens than his playing partners – but his putts were usually to save par on a day when the foursome had 11 bogeys and two double bogeys among them on the back nine alone.

Kaymer deserved his victory, though, seeing as he led for 35 of the tournament's 36 holes. The most telling moment of the final day, however, might have been at the first hole, when he drained a putt from 33 feet to save par and Watson missed from five feet for birdie.

That largely set the tone for the front nine. With Kaymer slightly wayward off the tee, Watson and the rest just couldn't take advantage of the situation. Watson missed makable birdie putts on five of the first six holes, and was still just two shots behind Kaymer through seven.

"It felt like nobody really wanted to win around the turn," said Kaymer, who picked up a winner's check for $600,000. "It was an up-and-down round."

His two-shot lead became one, then disappeared altogether when the German had back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 9 and 10, the second when his tee shot hit a tree and found deep rough.

"The last 10 holes are very difficult," he said. "You could see we made a lot more bogeys, everyone pretty much on the back nine."

Watson was no exception. Tied for the lead after 10 holes at 6 under, he made back-to-back bogeys at 11 and 12, and it briefly looked like Kaymer, who birdied 12 to open up a three-shot lead, might run away with it.

A run of three birdies from Watson changed things, and with Kaymer bogeying No. 16, the two-shot lead had switched to the Masters champion. 

On the par-5 17th, Watson opted to take driver off the forward tee and promptly put the ball in the water on the left hand side of the fairway. Kaymer hit the middle of the fairway and walked off with a birdie while Watson bogeyed, and they walked down the last tied at 6 under.

"Truthfully, if we look at it hindsight, it's easy to look back, but if this was a four-day tournament we were playing, it would probably be a 4-wood off the tee or a 3-iron with that tee location," said Watson.

"Today, I was just let's try to see how manly I am with the driver and I wasn't very manly," he added. "I hit it in the water."

Then came the missed putts and, just as he did in the 2010 PGA Championship and the 2014 Ryder Cup singles, Kaymer beat Watson in a tight situation.

"You don't want to win a golf tournament that way," said Kaymer. "Of course I would take it, but you don't really want the other guy missing a short putt."

While Watson and Kaymer were battling it out at the top of the leaderboard, Furyk and Rory McIlroy were doing their best not to finish last.

For Furyk, a head-scratching first day was compounded by a second-round 73 that left him 3 over for the tournament. Again he bogeyed two of the last three holes, which, coupled with some poor putting, meant his round never really got going, despite playing some solid golf.

"I did a lot of good things today," he said, "The one bad thing I did was score. I gave myself a ton of opportunities and I made four birdies in two days."

Misery loves company, and McIlroy provided it in spades – the lone highlight of his round was a chip-in to save par at 17. Birdies at Nos. 3, 7 and 16, were cancelled out by bogeys at 2, 8, 10, 14, 15 and a double bogey at 13. The birdie at 16 did at least allow him to finish third.