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Abu Dhabi win lifts Martin Kaymer to second in world

Final-round leaderboard:
-24 M Kaymer (Ger) -16 R McIlroy (NI) -14 R Goosen (SA), G McDowell (NI) -12 G Maybin (NI), D Lynn (Eng) -11 R Cabrera-Bello (Spa)
Selected others:-8 P Casey (Eng) -7 R Davies (Wal) -6 R Fisher (Eng) -5 P Mickelson (US) -2 C Montgomerie (Sco) +2 Lee Westwood (Eng)

Martin Kaymer
Three-time winner Kaymer was allowed to keep the Abu Dhabi trophy

Extended final-round leaderboard

Martin Kaymer maintained his dominant form to win his third Abu Dhabi title in four years and displace Tiger Woods as number two in the world rankings.

The German, who led by five shots going into the final round, shot a six-under-par 66 to finish eight shots clear of Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy (69).

Kaymer only had one bogey all week and finished a tournament record 24 under.

Retief Goosen shot a best-of-the-week 64 to move up to a tie for third with Graeme McDowell, who closed with a 67.

A third Northern Irishman, Gareth Maybin, and England's David Lynn finished in a tie for fifth, two shots further back.

Kaymer's runaway victory and elevation to world number two means that with Lee Westwood - who finished a lowly 64th - in top spot, Europeans hold the top two positions in the rankings for the first time since Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer in 1993.

It is the first time since October 2004 that Woods - who starts his season at Torrey Pines in California this week - has been outside the top two.

"Hopefully I can stay there for a while," said Kaymer. "It is definitely nice to take over from the player who, for me, is the best in the world."

He seems to intimidate the rest of the field into believing that if he gets in front he is going to win

Padraig Harrington on Kaymer

Kaymer was allowed to keep the Abu Dhabi trophy after a phenomenal four years in which he has finished first, second, first and first again, and is a cumulative 80 under par for that period.

"It is just a perfect golf course for me," added the 26-year-old, who was playing his first tournament since clinching the European Tour money list crown in November.

"I consider it as my home course, I always play well here. If you win straightaway it is a great start to the season. I hit a lot of fairways and my putting was amazing."

Kaymer increased his five-stroke overnight lead into an eight-shot advantage after only five holes of the final round.

While he birdied the second and third to improve to 20 under par, nearest challenger McIlroy followed his matching four on the long second with bogeys at two of the next three holes.

A McIlroy birdie on the sixth meant Kaymer, who did not have a single bogey in his final 60 holes, went to the turn seven ahead and he finished in style with a birdie on the 18th.


"He's killing us," said Goosen after his 64. "I never saw anything above 20 under round here."

It was Kaymer's ninth title from his 100th European Tour event.

McIlroy, albeit five years younger, has had only one win in 82 European starts but would be encouraged by his first event of the year after a winter break during which he suffered swine flu.

He moves up from 12th to seventh in the world rankings, while McDowell is now up to fourth ahead of Phil Mickelson, meaning Europe has three of the world's top four.

Padraig Harrington, lying second when he was disqualified over a ball-marking incident on Thursday, was impressed by Kaymer's stunning display.

"He's probably the most formidable player in the world when he is leading," said the Dubliner.

"He seems to intimidate the rest of the field into believing that if he gets in front he is going to win."

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see also
Kaymer poised for Abu Dhabi win
22 Jan 11 |  Golf
Harrington disqualified for error
21 Jan 11 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf
Westwood starts 2011 in Abu Dhabi
19 Jan 11 |  Golf

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