It's so close I can touch it: G-Mac

Mark Garrod

McDowell teed up for tilt at Kaymer in Race to Dubai climax

GERMAN Martin Kaymer finds himself both the hunted and the hunter at this week's Dubai World Championship.

Going into the final event of the European Tour season, the 25-year-old has a lead of just over €290,000 over Graeme McDowell, his only remaining challenger, at the top of the money list.

But while McDowell is chasing the top-three finish that could see him snatch the €1,094,139 Race to Dubai bonus from his Ryder Cup team-mate, Kaymer also has another chance to reach the world No1 spot.

Lee Westwood is defending his position there, but to stay on top he needs to finish second if Kaymer wins on Sunday and cannot afford to be worse than 27th if Kaymer is second on his own.

This is the event that made Westwood more than €1.8m richer 12 months ago.


He trailed Rory McIlroy in the Order of Merit race with a week to go, but with a staggering 23-under-par total on the 7,675-yard Earth course at Jumeirah Estates he scooped the jackpot -- the tournament first prize of just over €873,364 and the bonus of over €1m.

Both Kaymer and McDowell would walk away with more than €2m if they do the same double as Westwood.

And do not feel too sorry for them if they fail. The lowest Kaymer can drop to on the money list is second and that is worth a bonus of more than €800,000. Portrush's McDowell, meanwhile, could be pushed down into third spot by Westwood -- himself just too far back to catch Kaymer -- and that would earn him €546,946.

McDowell has produced a first, tied third and fifth place in his past four starts. "I am very happy with my form and my energy levels going into Dubai," McDowell said.


"Of course I am within touching distance now and I've got to play well, simple as that," added the 31-year-old, who knows that victory on Sunday would guarantee him the money list No1 spot.

"I can't control Martin's golf ball -- only mine. I'm going to go and play my own game and see what happens.

"I have a few things to brush up on, but all in all I'm feeling really good about my game. I'm playing well enough to win and that's all I can ask."

Meanwhile, Kaymer said: "It's been a fantastic season for me. To win my first major (the US PGA) and to be part of the winning Ryder Cup team is way above my expectations to be honest.

"Obviously when you win a major you know that you can win any tournament in the world.

"I've played very well the past few months and going into this week I feel confident about my game. Hopefully I can play well and make sure that I win the Race to Dubai somehow."