Abu Dhabi: On a dramatic final day, Martin Kaymer's overnight six-shot lead was whittled down to two with six holes left, but the 23-year-old from Germany revealed exemplary qualities of a champion in the making when he pulled through to win the third Abu Dhabi Golf Championship by three strokes.
Kaymer lifted the Falcon Trophy and earned $333,330 for his 15-under 273, the win being his first European Tour triumph which now gains the reigning Rookie of the Year a European Tour Exemption until the end of 2010.
Lee Westwood of England fired a two under 70, while playing partner Henrik Stenson of Sweden shot one under 71 to share second spot on 11 under 277.
Kaymer, who was brilliant in the first three rounds, shooting 66, 65 and 68 on the par 72 National Course in a virtual one-man show, suddenly bogeyed the fourth, fifth and sixth holes to drop three shots.
His playing partner and overnight second on 11 under 205, Anthony Wall also began to crumble. With three bogeys and one double-bogey on the ninth, Wall was virtually out of contention by the halfway stage.
While Wall faded out of the picture, it was Westwood and Stenson who took turns on piling the pressure on the young German.
After 12 holes, both were just two shots behind Kaymer and the German faced the biggest question of his fledgling career - Could he hold his nerve and lead?
After dropping three shots in the front nine, Kaymer started his turn with a birdie and that should have settled him. But on the 12th, he dropped another shot and the gap between him and Westwood narrowed down to just two shots. Stenson also joined in with a birdie on the 14th and Kaymer now faced a double assault.
"It was between the 12 and 15 holes that I felt the most pressure. At that stage I just wanted to par the holes and all of them had to hit birdies to catch up," said Kaymer later during the press conference.
And Kaymer did just that. Kept his cool, pared the next five holes after that bogey and then finished off brilliantly with a birdie on the final hole.
Stenson, meanwhile, dropped a shot before birdying the final hole, while Westwood missed out on a clear second place finish when he bogeyed the final hole.
Wall hurtled down to share 17th spot with six others after his final round five over par 77, while England's Richard Finch and Spain's Ignacio Garrido moved up to share fourth place with Sweden's Peter Hedblom.
Ian Poulter of England also had a good final round shooting a five under 67 to share ninth place with Ireland's Paul McGinley (-18, 280).
Shaikh Sultan Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, and Prince Andrew, Duke of York, presented the prizes to the winners.
Top five scores (GBR/IRL unless stated, par 72):
273 - Martin Kaymer (GER) 66 65 68 74
277 - Henrik Stenson (SWE) 67 70 69 71, Lee Westwood 69 73 65 70
278 - Richard Finch 71 70 69 68, Ignacio Garrido (ESP) 69 70 70 69, Peter Hedblom (SWE) 69 70 69 70
279 - James Kingston (RSA) 71 68 72 68, Scott Strange (AUS) 72 71 66 70
280 - Paul McGinley 72 71 66 71, Ian Poulter 70 70 73 67.