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Kaymer passes Woods for No. 2 rank

Mon., Jan. 24, 2011

Martin Kaymer overtook Tiger Woods for the No. 2 ranking in the world Sunday, winning the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship by eight shots after shooting a 6-under 66.

Kaymer held a five-shot lead going into the day and had no problem securing his third win in four years in Abu Dhabi, finishing at 24-under 264. Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland finished second after a 69, while Retief Goosen and Graeme McDowell were another two shots back in third.

It was the biggest winning margin and lowest total score in the history of the tournament.

Kaymer had been third in the rankings and now trails only Lee Westwood.

“It’s quite nice to overtake somebody who is probably the best player in the world, perhaps the best player that ever lived,” Kaymer said.

“To be in front of him 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 the best player in the world.”

It was Kaymer’s 100th start on the European Tour, and the ninth win of his career.

Goosen had a 64, the best round of the day, while McDowell closed with a 67. Phil Mickelson finished 37th, meaning McDowell will move ahead of the reigning Masters champion at No. 4 in the rankings. Both started the week tied for fourth place.

Mickelson closed with a 70, and said he wasn’t bothered by slipping to No. 5 in the rankings.

“I’m not as concerned with the rankings as some,” he said. “I’m more concerned with getting my game ready for the majors.”

PGA Tour

Jhonattan Vegas made a 13-foot par putt on the second playoff hole to win the Bob Hope Classic at La Quinta, Calif., holding off Gary Woodland for his first PGA Tour victory.

The Venezuelan rookie won in just his fifth PGA Tour start despite putting his tee shot in the water on the 92nd hole of the five-day tournament. Vegas capitalized when Woodland made two poor chip shots, pumping his fist in celebration after his putt fell.

Vegas and Woodland eliminated defending champion Bill Haas with birdies on the first playoff hole after all three finished the final round at 27-under 333.

Playing one group apart, Haas and Vegas both missed short putts on the final regulation hole. A few minutes after Haas botched a 6-footer, Vegas couldn’t connect from 9 feet.

Vegas and Woodland closed with 3-under 69s and Haas shot a 66.

Champions Tour

John Cook birdied five straight holes after the turn to win the Champions Tour’s season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship, shooting a second straight 8-under 64 for a two-stroke victory over Tom Lehman in Kaupulehu-Kona, Hawaii.

Cook, 53, had eight birdies in his bogey-free round for a 22-under 194 total and his second straight victory. He finished last season with a successful title defense in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

Defending champion Tom Watson shot a 68 to finish third at 19 under.



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