Kaymer savours time at the top but craves more

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Martin Kaymer of Germany stands next to a cactus on the ninth hole during the final match of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships golf tournament in Marana, Arizona February 27, 2011.

DORAL, Florida - Martin Kaymer's father was so determined to congratulate his son on becoming world number one that he flew from Germany to Arizona last week just to say 'well done'.

Horst Kaymer spent 15 hours flying in each direction, just to pat his son on the back after he reached the top of the rankings by finishing runner-up at the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship.

His gesture was more than just an act of parental love, it reflected the notion the 26-year-old German may not be at the sport's pinnacle for long and his father did not want to miss the chance.

"He just wanted to congratulate me for being number one in the world," Kaymer told reporters on Tuesday ahead of this week's WGC Cadillac Championship.

"He said, 'Next time you are in Germany who knows if you will still be number one, so I just wanted to take the opportunity to say congratulations'. The next day he flew out again to Germany.

"I would probably have done the same but not a lot of parents do that. It was a 30-hour trip for pretty much 24 hours with me."

Kaymer is the second German, after Bernhard Langer, to occupy top spot in the world rankings and his achievement led to a stream of congratulations from his homeland.

Small Circle

Langer, a two-time winner of the Masters who held the distinction of being the first world number one when the official world rankings were introduced in 1986, rang Kaymer with some homespun advice.

"He said that he is proud of how he kept everything together," Kaymer said. "He said that is the most important thing and not a lot of sports people have so many good people around them.

"He advised me to keep the circle around me as small as possible."

Langer was virtually a lone hero for German golf but Kaymer believes that in the modern era he could have the chance to truly popularise golf in one of Europe's biggest sports markets.

"I'm sure that because of the time that we are living in now that I have a bigger chance of making golf more popular in Germany than he did.

"I think golf could be as big as tennis in Germany, if I could have the same success as Bernhard had. That would make a huge difference."

Kaymer has won a major, last year's PGA Championship, and he was Europe's top golfer in 2010, winning both the Race to Dubai and European Golfer of the Year, but says he still feels strangely unfulfilled.

"I don't know what I have to do to be really happy and really satisfied with everything that I have done. Everything that I have achieved is great and nobody would have expected it. I wouldn't," Kaymer said.

"But there's still something missing and I don't know what it is, what I have to win and what I have to do more. There is still something missing, maybe I will find out in the next 12 months."