Martin Kaymer (Getty Images)
Martin Kaymer produced a sensational back nine 29 to cut through the field and win the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.
The former US PGA Championship winner from Germany was in tremendous form as he carded a faultless closing round of 63 to win by three shots from Fredrik Jacobson.
It was another golden week for European Tour Members, with eight in the top ten at Sheshan International, with Graeme McDowell third and Masters Tournament winner Charl Schwartzel sharing fourth with US Open Champion Rory McIlroy and Paul Casey.
Kaymer started the day five shots behind Jacobson, but after six consecutive pars chipped in from the bunker at the seventh to start a run of nine birdies in his last 12 holes.
The Ryder Cup star was immaculate from tee to green – he had birdie chances on both the holes he parred on the back nine, where he did not drop a shot all week – and although Jacobson and Casey put up a good fight there was no denying Kaymer a tenth European Tour title.
“It started off a little slow, but then I holed a bunker shot on seven for birdie and since then, I didn't miss a lot of golf shots,” he said. “I didn't miss a lot of putts. I missed a very, very short putt on nine from two-and-a-half, three feet.
“Today felt very comfortable over the putts. I hit a lot of good irons, my putts were not very difficult.”
It was his first win since he romped to victory in Abu Dhabi in January, and he moves into second place on The Race to Dubai.
Jacobson, whose putter had been red-hot on Saturday, produced four birdies but three bogeys proved costly – especially one at the par three 17th which effectively ended his chances.
Casey birdied five holes out of six from the third, but there were no further gains – although he brilliantly chipped in at the 14th to save par after going in the water.
“So far it has been an okay season, but with that win, it has been a good season,” said Kaymer. “I won an HSBC tournament in Abu Dhabi this year in January, and it's nice to finish off with an HSBC tournament.
“I just played really good golf, and finally I'm glad that it came together, because the last few weeks, I played good golf but it has not happened yet. It was nice that it happened here, the World Golf Championships event.
“It was an okay season, now it's a good season. I played brilliant golf in Abu Dhabi, and when I became the Number One in the world in February after the World Golf Championships event in Arizona, my life has changed a little bit - not only mine, for the people I work with, my family.
“It has been a little awkward sometimes, because I was just not used to being in the spotlight. It took some time to get used to it, and hopefully it will happen again, because I know what's going to happen, I know how to approach that
“It has put me in a very nice position now, because I won a Major last year, I won a World Golf Championships a year later, so all of the big events in the world, I put my name on it, which is nice. Now I just try to collect more Majors and World Golf Championships events.”
Asked about trying to catch Luke Donald in The Official World Golf Ranking Kaymer added: “Obviously he's a very nice guy and he deserves to be Number One in the world.
“He deserves to be Number One in Europe. It will be difficult, but that is what the sport is about, to challenge yourself, challenge the other players that you play with week in, week out, and of course I will try to give him a hard time.
“We'll see. It's not easy to get him away from the Number One spot.”