Abu Dhabi win sends Kaymer second
Rory McIlroy could do nothing to stop Martin Kaymer romping to an eight-shot victory in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, which saw his Ryder Cup team-mate move ahead of Tiger Woods into second in the world rankings.
With Woods overhauled, top man Lee Westwood needs to on his guard with Kaymer seemingly on the march to the world number one spot.
The German needed only a top-seven finish to take over as number two from Woods, but won at a canter from a field which included the other three current major champions, and also Westwood, who ended up 64th, out-scored by a massive 26 strokes.
The last time a pair of Europeans filled the top two positions in the world was Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer 18 years ago - and Woods will start his season at Torrey Pines in California this week down in third spot for the first time since October 2004.
Amazingly, Kaymer did what he did not having played a tournament since clinching the European Tour money list crown in November. The 26-year-old, five clear of McIlroy with a round to go, closed with a 66 for a tournament-record 24-under-par total of 268.
"He's killing us," said Retief Goosen after a best-of-the-week 64 brought him into a tie for third with Graeme McDowell 10 behind. "I never saw anything above 20 under round here."
Kaymer did not have a single bogey in his final 60 holes - and he has had only two in his last 97 holes on what he now jokingly calls "my home course". He has finished first, second, first and first since missing the halfway cut on his maiden visit in 2007 - and is a cumulative 80 under par.
This was Kaymer's 100th European Tour event and his ninth success. McIlroy, albeit five years younger, has had only one in 82 starts.
The young Ulsterman, also emerging this week from a long winter break during which he suffered swine flu, will be delighted by three eagles and 18 birdies.
But he had eight bogeys compared to Kaymer's one, which came when he shanked out of a bunker into water on the 12th hole of his opening round.