German Martin Kaymer wins PGA golf championship

Martin Kaymer beat American Bubba Watson on Sunday in a playoff at the 92nd PGA Championship to become the first German to win in the history of the tournament.

German Martin Kaymer wins PGA golf championship
Photo: DPA

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and American Zach Johnson shared third, missing the three-hole playoff by one shot.

Dustin Johnson appeared to be set to join Watson and Kaymer in the playoff but the American was slapped with a two-stroke penalty immediately after his round finished for grounding his club in a bunker on the 18th hole.

Kaymer, 25, made a two-foot bogey putt on the final hole of the playoff in Sheboygan, Wisconsin to win his first major championship.

“There’s nothing bigger,” Kaymer told a press conference after the tournament.

Kaymer joins US Open winner Graeme McDowell and British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen as first-time major winners this season. Six of the past seven major champions have been first-time major winners.

In the playoff Kaymer and Watson exchanged birdies on the first two holes before Watson got into trouble on the final hole, the par-four 18.

His approach landed in the water and his next shot sailed over the green. Watson chipped onto the green and even hit the flag stick, but it was too little too late as he had to settle for a double-bogey six.

That left Kaymer with two putts to close it out and collect his second victory of 2010. The 25-year-old from Mettmann won the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship earlier this year on the European Tour.

The only other German to win a major golf tournament is Bernhard Langer, who won the Masters tournament in 1985 and 1993.

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Germany welcomes US troop withdrawal freeze under Biden

The German government on Friday welcomed a decision by President Joe Biden to put on hold plans to reduce US troops in Germany, saying their presence was in the countries' mutual interest.

Germany welcomes US troop withdrawal freeze under Biden
An American soldier stationed in Germany, in front of Dresden's Military History Museum in 2016. Photo: DPA

“We have always been convinced that American troops being stationed here in Germany serves European and transatlantic security and hence is in our mutual interest,” German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters.

As part of a major foreign and security policy overhaul presented Thursday, Biden announced a freeze on plans set in motion by his predecessor Donald Trump to reduce the US troop presence in Germany, a cornerstone of NATO security since the start of the Cold War.

READ ALSO: What could Joe Biden as US president mean for Germany?

Trump's decision was seen as linked to his tense relationship with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and his frequent complaints that Europe's top economy spent too little on defence.

The United States has had US troops stationed in Germany since World War II but their numbers have declined since the fall of the Berlin Wall from some 200,000 soldiers in 1990 to 34,500 today.

Although the prospect had been looming for years, Trump's decision in July to redeploy 12,000 soldiers from Germany still came as a shock, particularly to towns that have built strong economic and cultural ties to the US military.

READ ALSO: Trump to withdraw 'thousands of US soldiers from Germany' under Biden

“We strongly value the close, decades-long cooperation with the American troops stationed in Germany,” Seibert said.

He said the communities hosting GIs appreciated their presence, calling the bases “part of the lived transatlantic friendship”.  

Seibert said German officials were in “consultations” with the US administration about “further planning” but that the decision how to shape the future American military footprint in Europe was a “US domestic issue”.