Posted by Sabrina B. @gametimegirl
On the eve of the final round of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, Martin Kaymer tried to convince his rivals that he is not a machine. A closer inspection may be required after his eight-shot victory. It’s his ninth victory in 100 starts.
No one could prevent the Germanator from turning Sunday’s final round into his personal coronation in the desert. That’s three victories in four years for Kaymer in Abu Dhabi. He takes home $455,000, gets to keep the fabulous falcon trophy, and overtakes Tiger Woods as No. 2 in the Official World Golf Rankings. Woods will be ranked third when he starts his season Thursday at Torrey Pines, his lowest spot in the world rankings since October 2004, when Vijay Singh climbed to the summit and Ernie Els was No. 2.
Kaymer’s annihilation of both the course and his rivals was reminiscent of Woods at his most irrepressible and robotic best, bullying his way to victory. But the soft-spoken Kaymer is too modest to accept such comparisons. “It’s makes me proud to take over from Tiger, the player I consider to be the best golfer to have ever lived,” Kaymer said. “To be in front of him for a week, or a month, would make me happy, for sure. We’ll see how long it takes him to overtake me,” he added smiling.
Joking aside, Kaymer has the game, mental strength and grounded personal life to keep ahead of Woods for years, not weeks. There’s an aura about him that makes you believe once he gets to No. 1, he’ll be as tough to move as Woods once was. And Kaymer also has time on his side. He’s only 26.
With Lee Westwood holding on to his No. 1 spot despite finishing tied for 64th at two over par, Europeans occupy the top two places in the rankings for the first time since Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer in 1993. Kaymer has only Westwood to dethrone to follow his boyhood hero Langer to the pinnacle of his sport. “You can see how strong European golf is. And not just the Ryder Cup and the majors last year,” Kaymer said. He had words of consolation for the runner-up, too. “Rory (McIlroy) will win plenty of majors in his career and be world No. 1 one day, too.”
Kaymer shot a final round 66 to finish at 23 under par. He is now 80 under par on the National Course in his last 16 rounds. He made just one bogey all week, which occured after a shank in the first round. (Well, nobody’s perfect.) His nearest rival, McIlroy, needed a fast start to have any hope of closing the six-shot deficit. He also needed Kaymer’s machine-like precision to get clogged up with sand and break down. Not a chance. Kaymer birdied two of the first three holes and hit six of the seven fairways in regulation on the front nine â€” and all nine greens. “He’s not unbeatable,” McIlroy had said. He found out otherwise. McIlroy hit two fat wedges to bogey the third, and then dropped another shot at the fifth. And that was that.
Written by Â Paul Mahoney, Contributor to Golf Magazine & Full Story here