Germany’s Martin Kaymer beat Ian Poulter of England by a single shot to win the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship for the second time in the last three years.
In a thrilling final round that featured scintillating play from all the leading protagonists, the final outcome of the championship came down to the very last hole.
Kaymer and Poulter stood on the 72nd tee tied for the lead at 20-under-par and, after a superb birdie at the tough 17th, the third member of the final group Rory McIlroy was just a shot behind.
Neither Poulter nor McIlroy managed to find the fairway from the tee on the par 5 and were forced to lay up with their second shots.
Kaymer, however, belted his drive down the middle then boosted a 3-wood on to the right side of the green. The Brits’ third shots didn’t threaten the pin and neither could make birdie. That left Kaymer with two putts for the title – he completed the job and once again secured the trophy he won back in 2008.
“My goal for every year is to win two tournaments on The European Tour. I did it in 2008 and 2009 and I hope I can do it this year,” said Kaymer. “But my main goal is to play The Ryder Cup this year because when I went there two years ago I really felt I want to be there one day because it is so cool. Even though I wasn’t playing, it gave me so much experience and it helped me so much.”
Although disappointed to not get the victory, Ian Poulter took the positives from his performance – one of which wass that it moved him into the world’s top-10 for the first time in his career.
“It’s a nice start to the season though I’m pretty frustrated that I’ve walked away from shooting that score and I haven’t won,” said the 34-year-old. “But it’s good. I will move on next week in Qatar, have a bit of fun and see if I can go one step closer and then take two weeks off before the Match Play.”
McIlroy finished the week alone in third with Ireland’s Shane Lowry enjoying his best week since turning professional back in fourth.
Abu Dhabi Golf Championship
Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Jan 21-24, purse €1,500,000, par 72
1 Martin Kaymer (Ger) 67 67 67 66 267 €250,000
2 Ian Poulter (Eng) 65 70 67 66 268 €166,660
3 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 66 69 67 67 269 €93,900
4 Shane Lowry (Ire) 68 65 71 67 271 €75,000
5 Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 67 71 68 66 272 €63,600
T6 Ariel Canete (Arg) 70 65 74 64 273 €48,750
T6 Rhys Davies (Wal) 66 68 72 67 273 €48,750
T8 Anders Hansen (Den) 69 70 68 67 274 €33,700
T8 Soren Hansen (Den) 72 67 68 67 274 €33,700
T8 David Horsey (Eng) 73 66 70 65 274 €33,700
Note: Player scores in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only