Germany’s ice-cool Martin Kaymer reached the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship on Saturday to ensure he will take over as world No. 1 when the new rankings are issued today.
Kaymer beat American Bubba Watson one up in a closely contested semi-final at Dove Mountain’s Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and will face Britain’s Luke Donald in Sunday’s title match.
In-form Donald crushed American Matt Kuchar 6 and 5 on a blustery afternoon in the Arizona desert to give himself a chance of climbing to a career-high third in next week’s rankings.
Kaymer, the second-seed for the elite World Golf Championships (WGC) event, had his hands full against the big-hitting Watson in a fluctuating contest.
Kaymer, who survived a shaky finish in the morning to beat Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez one up in the quarter-finals, went one up on Watson at the first, trailed by one after eight holes and then built a two-up lead with two to play.
Watson kept the match alive by sinking a six-foot birdie putt at the par-four 17th to trim Kaymer’s advantage to dormie one.
Watson was then bunkered off the tee at the par-four 18th and ended up just short of the green with his approach after his ball spun back off the front edge.
Kaymer, straight down the middle with his drive, struck his second shot over the back of the green after being between clubs before chipping back seven feet past the cup.
Watson hit his third shot to within five feet of the hole before the German coolly rolled in his putt to seal victory.