German Martin Kaymer leapfrogged Tiger Woods to become the world No. 2 when he stormed to an eight-shot victory in the Abu Dhabi Championship on Sunday.
Kaymer, 26, relegated Woods to world No. 3 when he successfully defended his Abu Dhabi title and captured the event for a third time in four years.
“To be in front of him [Woods] for a little bit, we’ll see how long it takes him to overtake me again, but you know, it makes me very proud to be better in the world rankings than, for me, the best player in the world,” Kaymer told reporters.
The win was Kaymer’s ninth on the European Tour and the European No. 1 has now won four of his past eight events since last year’s US PGA Championship, earning 2.4 million euros (US$3.26 million) in prize money.
The German began the final round at 18-under par, five strokes clear of nearest rival Rory McIlroy, and carded a -closing-round 66 for a 24-under-par victory tally.
“I am very happy especially the way I played golf today and actually the last four days as I made only one bogey the entire week,” he said. “The most important thing for me today was that I have fun and if I have fun, then I play good golf. I played with Rory [McIlroy] today and we definitely had a lot of fun on the golf course.”
McIlroy (69) was second on 16-under with the US Open--winning pair of Retief Goosen of South Africa (64) and Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland (67) sharing third place on 14-under.
Northern Irishman McIlroy went one better than last year’s third place finish, but had no answer to the sizzling form of his Ryder Cup colleague.
“Martin’s just incredible, up to world No. 2 and deservedly so,” McIlroy said. “He’s playing some great golf and he was in total control of his golf ball out there today. Didn’t make a bogey and he’s only made one bogey all week. It was very impressive. He’s a class act, he really is.”
Kaymer will have a week off before returning for the Qatar Masters in Doha.