Abu Dhabi: Martin Kaymer strengthened his love affair with Abu Dhabi after swooping on the Falcon Trophy for the second time in three years while Englishman Ian Poulter and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlory watched helplessly.
Describing the final round — which saw the top three finishers playing together in a riveting battle — as the best-ever that he has played on the European Tour, Kaymer was an elated German.
"It was actually one of the nicest rounds I've played on The European Tour so far. All of us were playing so good today. It was very solid, all about making birdies.
"We were going for the flags, we were going for all of the putts, we were not shy, and we just went for everything, which is great. That's why we were scoring that well," he said.
"It was very tight in the middle of the round. Poulter made a few birdies, all of a sudden McIlroy made a few birdies, and I was not leading the tournament anymore. I was one behind after 14 holes," he said.
Then on the final hole, an emboldened Kaymer fired a birdie to grasp the Falcon Trophy for the second time on what is now considered his favourite venue.
Kaymer, who won here in 2008 and finished second last year, flirted with disaster on the 17th hole but a brilliant putt, which he described as the most important in winning yesterday's duel with Poulter, gave him the much-needed fillip.
"That [putt on 17th] was probably the most important putt I made today. On 17 hit a bad second shot, pulled it way left, I think by 35 metres.
"Then it was a pretty solid putt right at the target where I wanted to put it. That was a very, very important putt for me."
Turning to his goal for the year ahead, Kaymer said, "My goal for every year is to win two tournaments, I did it in 2008, I did this in 2009. It would be nice to do the same again this year."
"My main goal is to just play for the Ryder Cup this year. When I went there two years ago… it was so cool and gives you so much experience," Kaymer said.
Fourth round (par 72)
- 267 - Martin Kaymer (GER) 67-67-67-66
- 268 - Ian Poulter (ENG) 65-70-67-66
- 269 - Rory McIlroy (NIR) 66-69-67-67
- 271 - Shane Lowry (IRE) 68-65-71-67
- 272 - Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 67-71-68-66
- 273 - Ariel Canete (ARG) 70-65-74-64; Rhys Davies (WAL) 66-68-72-67
- 274 - Anders Hansen (DEN) 69-70-68-67; Soren Hansen (DEN) 72-67-68-67; David Horsey (ENG) 73-66-70-65
- 275 - Peter Hanson (SWE) 66-67-70-72; Alvaro Quiros (ESP) 66-70-68-71
- 276 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) 66-67-74-69.