Kaymer welcomes Valderrama return

17 October 2017 05:25:02 EST

As the 2018 Ryder Cup captains launch the One Year To Go celebrations in Paris, Martin Kaymer is in southern Spain hoping to kickstart his bid to join them in 12 months' time.

The German has played on each of the last four European teams, winning three times, but his last individual success came at the 2014 US Open and the three-year drought has seen him slide to a lowly 77th in the world rankings.

If he wants to make a fifth Ryder Cup appearance at Le Golf National next October, he needs to be inspired by the ceremonial shots hit from the Eiffel Tower by Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk this week, and then transfer that to his own game.

However, Real Club Valderrama, the only continental European course to have so far hosted a Ryder Cup, is the perfect venue for Kaymer's attempt to reverse the decline in his form. Indeed, it's a course he describes as "iconic".

Kaymer explained ahead of Thursday's first round of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters:  "Valderrama is just one of those special courses which you always want to play if you are given the opportunity.

"Of course, having Sergio (Garcia) as host played a part in my decision and it looks like it is going to be a great event with a really strong field."

It's a concern that he's failed to record a top-ten finish on any tour since he was fourth at the Honda Classic in February. He's also got a best of only T20th in his last 13 starts, but the tight, tree-lined fairways of Valderrama are surely perfect for turning around his fortunes.

This will be his sixth appearance on them and he has never finished outside the top 25, with three top sixes and a best of second in the 2008 Volvo Masters.

Kaymer is 18/1 to win the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, with Garcia priced at 5/1 and Shane Lowry 14/1.

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