Martin Kaymer (Getty Images)
While all the attention is focussed on Rory McIlroy’s battle with Luke Donald for the 2011 trophy, last year’s Race to Dubai Champion Martin Kaymer is determined to separate them.
McIlroy must win the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World this weekend and Donald finish outside the top nine for the Northern Irishman to stop the Englishman becoming champion.
Although third-placed Kaymer cannot catch Donald, he can usurp McIlroy to finish second – consequently handing Donald his 2010 crown.
“That's my goal for sure,” Kaymer said. “Obviously coming the last two weeks, I know that I can't win anymore. But I can still finish second and try to defend I think.”
Kaymer, victorious on his last European Tour outing in the WGC – HSBC Champions, believes World Number One Donald deserves to become the first player in history to top the money lists of both the European Tour and the PGA Tour.
“The way he played golf this year, and the last two years, he deserves to be the Number One in the world, and I hope for him that he will win here this week, because that is what he deserves. He played great golf, and it would be nice for him,” he added.
Donald and McIlroy’s duel is similar to Kaymer’s with Graeme McDowell a year ago when they were the only contenders for the Race to Dubai trophy at the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World.
“With Rory and Luke, I think it's exciting,” the German said. “It's almost the same, that we had last year with Graeme and me.
“But I don't really believe that Luke will have a bad week. The way he played golf the last few months, I don't know if he ever finished outside the top ten this year.
“So I think it would be very difficult for Rory, but I'm sure he will be aggressive and try to do everything and try to win, and then that puts a little bit of pressure on Luke for the weekend.”
Regardless of this week’s events, Kaymer is pleased at the prospect of playing again on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
“It's always nice to come here,” he added. “It's just a place where there are some places like Rory in Hong Kong where he feels very comfortable.
“I just like coming here, to Abu Dhabi, to Dubai, it's where I like to play and where I like the people, I like the food. It's very relaxed for me. It's like the whole combination makes the tournament nice.
“If you feel good about your week, about a place, about the whole setting and the organisation, then you can play well.”