After spending his childhood chasing autographs on the Gut Larcenhof course, Martin Kaymer is now chasing a second BMW International Open success.
The BMW International Open is being played in Cologne for a first time in the events 24-year history.
And Kaymer, who won an emotional 2008 title in Munich, is no stranger to the Cologne course having spent his childhood seeking autographs from the likes of the triple Major winning pair of Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington.
“I first time I came here in the late 90s, I was waiting for players to coming off the 18th green looking for autographs or hats or gloves or something,” he said.
“I always wanted Padraig Harrington’s autograph and I got it on a Saturday of the tournament, and a glove from Ernie Els.
“Then I played a junior tournament, and I wore the glove only for the first hole as it was too big.
“But I don’t think Ernie will remember, even though he was always my biggest role model, and it was so cool and so nice to get his glove. It was fantastic even though I don’t have it anymore.”
Four years ago, Kaymer captured a second European Tour title with his mother seriously ill, and who then passed away a few weeks after his success.
Kaymer will play the opening two rounds in the company of defending champion, Pablo Larrazabal and in-form compatriot, Marcel Siem.