Martin Kaymer targets second successive Dunhill title

Martin Kaymer
Martin Kaymer had a spell as world number one at the start of this year

Martin Kaymer claims the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is the best on the European Tour as he looks to become the first player to retain the title.

The pro-am tournament is held across St Andrews' Old Course, as well as Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.

A high-class field includes the top three players in the world in Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Rory McIlroy.

Kaymer said: "Very rarely do you go to a tournament this excited. This feels like home to me."

Big names Charl Schwartzel, Dustin Johnson, Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell also feature.

World number six Kaymer has father Horst as his playing partner, with brother Philip working as his caddie.

The German said: "A lot of the players say [U.S. Masters venue] Augusta is paradise but for me St Andrews is paradise.

"It is the home of golf, it is where I feel the most comfortable. We play on three wonderful courses so it's probably the best week of the year on the European Tour.

"I am really looking forward to it. Very rarely do you go to a tournament this excited. This feels like home to me. When I was standing on the first tee it just felt so peaceful."

Kaymer believes Carnoustie offers the stiffest test of the three courses being used this week.

He added: "Carnoustie is definitely the toughest. You can score well at Kingsbarns and St Andrews if the weather is OK but at Carnoustie if you shoot level-par ... that's still a good score."

South African Schwartzel, who won his first major at Augusta earlier this year, he agrees with Kaymer's assessment of St Andrews.

"The first, 17th and 18th ... if you don't feel something when you go down those three holes there's something wrong with you," Schwartzel said.

"Standing on that first tee at St Andrews gives you goose bumps every single time you step up there. It's difficult to describe for someone who has never played it."