My second Major win! From start to finish it was a great week for me, I felt extremely comfortable on the course. A few of my friend's jokingly called me „One-Hit-Wonder“ in the past years, that should be history from now on! I was very happy that I could maintain my good form after the Players win and solidify it at a Major! It was very hard to be chased from start to finish though!
The Players have an immense history and always great participants, so it feels like another Major win to me. The most difficult thing that week was to keep the expactations low and keep a cool head, because it's always the hardest job to win a tournament that you're leading from day one! The 63 in the first round was an exceptional score on this golf course, and I knew it was pretty much impossible to repeat that. The break on sunday didn't help me, but it was crucial for my further development and tought me a lot. Before the break I had everything well under control, after the break I made a few mistakes but luckily none of them cost me the win at the end of the day!
After a little over one year without a European or PGA Tour win, the title in South Africa was a good finish to an up and down season. Winning the „German double“, since Bernhard Langer won the Senior title beforehand, was a unique and great experience. I also loved the country South Africa itself, I took the chance to go on my first Safari and saw a lot of interesting animals!
Prior to the Ryder Cup I wasn't very in form and I only played one match on friday together with Justin Rose. Still I wanted to do my part, so I was really looking forward to my single match on sunday against Steve Stricker. What a sensational comeback that was by our team! A great team performance, and I was especially delighted for our captain Jose Maria Olazabal!
I've always liked the course in Shenzhen and in 2011 I managed to get a win there! I had a hard time at the beginning of the last round. I knew I had to make up points, but unfortunately I only scored Pars on the first six holes even though I had great chances. A holed stroke out of the bunker at the 7 finally ignited my comeback which ended with a 63 and gave me my first WGC title!
The treble in Abu Dhabi! By winning for the third time I could finally keep the original Falcon Trophy, which since then has had a special place in my showcase!
What an accomplishment! As if 2010 wasn't enough, I was honoured as Breakthrough of the Year of all sports at the Laureus Awards! It was a very new experience and an exciting event for me, I was able to meet so many excellent athletes at the awards!
Maybe even more important than the Golfer of the Year Award was the Players Player of the Year Award to me, since it came directly from my European Tour colleagues and that is a great recognition!
Thanks to the great success in 2010, I was awarded another accolade that year: together with Graeme McDowell, I had the honour to be named Golfer of the Year in the European Tour! A very special accolade, even more so because for the first time in history, two players were awarded!
With the championships I was able to win throughout that year, I had the chance of winning the european moneylist at the final tournament in Dubai! I did have a point advantage over Graeme McDowell prior to the tournament, but this was not the time to get complacent. Thanks to a shared 13th place I was still the leader after the tournament and joined an impressive list of players. A title that means a lot to me, because it reflects and rewards consistency throughout the season!
Right after the Ryder Cup we were on our way to St. Andrews, the home of Golf! That year I participated in the Pro- Am format with a good friend of mine and we had so much fun on the course. Getting a win at the legendary St. Andrews is something very special!
Everybody remembers Graeme McDowell's performance at the Ryder Cup in Celtic Manor! For me personally, my first Ryder Cup was also a great success. I was able to help my team get the win and I learned valuable lessons for the future!
I'm always very comfortable in the Netherlands, lots of family and friends come to see me play and I'm usually able to travel with my own car. In 2010, I managed to maintain the momentum from Whistling Straits!
The first Major win in my career! What a long week that was in Whistling Straits, once again the game went to a play-off, this time against Bubba Watson. I knew before the play-off that he would have a length advantage at the first extra hole. He would probably come close to, if not make it onto the green, which would pretty much secure his Birdie. Luckily I was able to counter his Birdie at the second extra hole so that we were tied at the 18. There, I hit a perfect iron 7, possibly still the best stroke of my career, which left me two Putts away from the championship!
The best year in my career so far started very well with my second win in Abu Dhabi! It was a very tight match, especially at the end. I think Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy were closing in on me back then, two players who are known for never backing down. I was very excited about my bogey-free final round, which gave me the win!
One week after France I travelled to Scotland, continuing my preperation for the British Open. I had a great time there as well, the course in Loch Lomond fit my game very nicely!
In the years before, I had already felt very good on this course in France. It is extremely challenging, but still very fair. I had to go to extra time just like I did in Munich, and I was the luckier one in a play-off against Lee Westwood!
A very emotional win for me. Playing in my home country, in front of so many fans supporting me and even playing side by side with Bernhard Langer for the first two rounds! A great experience back then in Munich!
In my first tournament in 2008 I managed to get my first European Tour win in Abu Dhabi! I can still picture that time vividly, I trained all winter in Scottsdale and I couldn't wait to finally compete again!
By succesfully qualifying through the Challenge Tour 2006, I had a regular European Tour card for the first time in 2007. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a win even though I was very close to getting one in Sweden that year. Looking back at it, it was still a very succesful season for me and I was rewarded with the Rookie of the Year Award!
After winning the Elfrather Mühle I was given permanent eligibility for the rest of the 2006 Challenge Tour season. But that also put a lot of pressure on me: there were only 7 tournaments left before the season was over, including the season final in Italy, which was qualification by ranking. To even be recognized in the ranking, I needed at least 8 tournaments, and I exactly achieved that! Those were some stressful weeks back then, including practice I played 10 weeks in a row!
After succesfully competing in the EPD Tour earlier that year, I got an invite to a tournament of the next higher level, the Challenge Tour. I had some great days at the Elfrather Mühle, because a lot of friends and family members took the short trip from my home town Mettmann to support me at the course!
A round that I will never forget! At hole 2, a pretty easy Par 5, I scored a Bogey and was +1 after 2. After that everything worked, it was magical! Somehow I always carry that round with me, since my ball number is the „59“!
My first win as a professional! After the Qualifying School at the end of 2005 didn't go the way I hoped it would and I missed the Cut in the Final Stage, my career as a Pro started with the EPD Tour, which already allowed me to make my first professional experiences the year before. I don't remember exactly which tournament it was, but winning the Friedberg Classic gave me a win pretty early in the season. That was a massive confidence boost for me all year!
To test the waters as a Professional, I played a few tournaments in the 2005 EPD Tour to see what it feels like to be a Pro. At the Golf Club Kassel I even managed to get a win, which showed me that I could truely compete at the top level!
The double in one year! For me the German Championships are extremely important, therefore I was even more excited to win both the Match Play and the Stroke play championships in one year!
That was a great golf course in Bad Neuenahr with a lot of good chances to score Birdies! In the final I played against Sean Einhaus, with whom I grew up together in the Bergisches Land. Still to this day we play a lot of rounds together!
My first international win! I still remember that very hot day very well. In the last round I fought a tough battle against Tiago Cruz, and luckily I was able to come out on top!
Date of Birth: 28. December 1984
Height: 184 cm Weight: 76 kg
Place of residence: Düsseldorf
Traning location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Switch to professional: 2005