Martin Kaymer emphatically defended his title at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. The German finished eight shots clear of second placed Rory McIlroy and climbed to second on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Kaymer began the final round five shots clear of McIlroy and never looked threatened as he cruised through the last 18 holes with a flawless 66. The 26-year-old didn’t record a bogey in his last 60 holes and suffered just one bogey during the four rounds.
With the victory, Kaymer has moved to second place on the Official World Golf Ranking, behind Lee Westwood. It’s the first time since 1993 that European players have occupied the first two spots. At that time it was Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer.
Kaymer played near perfect golf from start to finish in Abu Dhabi and his winning total of 24-under-par was a tournament record – An incredible effort given the course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club was playing tougher than ever before for this year’s event.
It was the third time the young German has won this title. He is an amazing 80-under-par for his last 16 rounds in the tournament – level 67s. It was Kaymer’s ninth European Tour victory in just his 100th start on the circuit.
“It’s just the perfect course for me,” he said. “It was more difficult,
but I hit a lot of fairways and my putting was amazing. It was just one
of those weeks when everything goes my way. There was not a lot to
improve this week.”
South Africa’s Retief Goosen played an excellent closing round of 64 to finish in a tie for third with 2010 US Open Champion Graeme McDowell. The result means the Northern Irishman has moved ahead of Phil Mickelson to take sole possession of fourth place on the Official World Golf Ranking. He has also narrowed the gap to Tiger Woods in third.
Rory McIlroy is predicted to climb to seventh on the ranking and, with Paul Casey in ninth and Luke Donald 10th, there will be six Europeans in the top-10 next week.
Another Northern Irish player, Gareth Maybin was tied for fifth in Abu Dhabi with England’s David Lynn.
Abu Dhabi HSBC
Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi
Jan 20-23, purse €2,000,000, par 72
1 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 67 65 66 66 264 €334,398
2 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 71 67 65 69 272 €222,932
T3 Retief Goosen (RSA) 70 71 69 64 274 €112,960
T3 Graeme McDowell (NIR) 66 70 71 67 274 €112,960
T5 Gareth Maybin (NIR) 71 67 69 69 276 €77,647
T5 David Lynn (Eng) 69 68 67 72 276 €77,647
7 Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 71 73 67 66 277 €60,191
T8 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 71 72 69 66 278 €45,076
T8 Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 72 68 71 67 278 €45,076
T8 Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 64 71 71 72 278 €45,076