Kaymer skips Johnnie Walker, takes gamble on keeping Ryder Cup spot

Martin Kaymer
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Deciding not to play the Johnnie Walker Championship this week means that Martin Kaymer can be knocked out of an automatic spot on Europe's Ryder Cup team.
PA Sport

Series: European Tour

Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 | 3:27 p.m.

GLENEAGLES, Scotland -- Martin Kaymer has stuck to his guns this week and placed his Ryder Cup fate in the hands of two people.

Deciding not to play the Johnnie Walker Championship means the former world No. 1 -- without a single top-10 finish since April -- can be knocked out of an automatic spot on Europe's team.

Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts is the player who can move into the top 10 instead, but he has to finish first or second at Gleneagles.

If that happens, however, Kaymer will then discover what Captain Jose Maria Olazabal makes of his summer struggles as he tries to work in a swing change.

Olazabal has two wild cards to hand out on Monday. One looks certain to go to Ian Poulter, and three-time major winner Padraig Harrington is hoping he might do enough at the first of the FedEx Cup playoff events in America this weekend to warrant receiving the other.

"Martin's been in a bit of a slump as we all know, but he is comfortable with where he is heading and he wants to be at the Ryder Cup. There's no doubt about that," said Kaymer's manager, Johan Elliot. "He decided to stick to his schedule rather than play this week and he's spoken to Jose Maria about it. He's a smart man and he knows that Martin knows what he needs to do.

"It goes back to the whole debate about hitting a fade and a draw," Elliot explained of Kaymer’s situation. "He reached No. 1 with one of the world's best fades, but wanted to be able to hit a draw (specifically for the Masters at first) and we all now know it went overboard."

Kaymer, part of the winning 2010 European team, has missed the halfway cut in the last two majors and his last top 10 was a seventh place at the Malaysian Open in April.

Olazabal can hardly be critical of the 27-year-old for skipping the final counting event when his place is not safe, though, as six years ago the Spaniard went hunting instead of fighting for his spot in Germany. Olazabal held onto 10th place then, but whether Kaymer does the same remains to be seen.