Instead of wanting to play like Tiger Woods, everybody now wants to play like Rory McIlroy -- and that includes world No. 3 Martin Kaymer on home turf this week.
Whereas McIlroy broke 70 in every round in winning the U.S. Open by eight with a record score on Sunday, Kaymer failed to break 70 in any round and came in 39th -- 19 strokes behind the Northern Irishman.
2011 BMW INTERNATIONAL OPEN
After 23 straight years in Munich, Germany's only European Tour event will alternate between Munich and Cologne starting in 2012.
McIlroy is now on a three-week break before the British Open, but Kaymer went straight from Washington to Munich for the European Tour’s BMW International Open starting on Thursday.
The 26-year-old, who in 2008 became the first German to win the event in its 22-year history, is part of an all-Europe top four in the world. That has not happened for almost 20 years.
"I think it's something to do with the Europeans playing worldwide and becoming more complete players,” he said. "We travel a lot and experience everything.
"Watching Rory made me want to practice more -- it's inspirational. If you see somebody playing as well as Rory, you want to go out and become a better player,” he added. "Rory was impressive. I didn't see 16 under being the winning score. He was on auto pilot."
Back in February 1992, Bernhard Langer stood fifth in an all-European top five with Ian Woosnam, Nick Faldo, Jose Maria Olazabal and Seve Ballesteros ahead of him. The former Ryder Cup captain is taking time out from the Champions Tour to make his 450th European Tour appearance this week – it should have come at the Masters in April, but Langer was sidelined then after a bike accident meant he needed thumb surgery.
"We should savor this. It doesn't come around too often,” Langer said of the healthy state of European golf. "There was a unique crop of players in the 80s who came along and won majors and it's unique again.
"It's another generation and I think they benefit from playing each other and beating each other regularly. That's human nature,” he added. "They know they can beat them and they know they are just as good and they go out and prove it. For years there was a drought - now it's the opposite.
"I was more than impressed watching Rory. It's not often you see a player shoot these kind of scores in a major,” he said. "Rory is a phenomenal talent and has one of the best swings."