Kaymer a virtual lock to win Euro money title

Martin Kaymer

Martin Kaymer

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Turn out the lights, the party’s over. The Race to Dubai officially has become a one-horse race.

Crown Germany’s Martin Kaymer the new King of Europe. He deserves it.

Give Graeme McDowell an ‘A’ for effort, but his dream of becoming European No. 1 will have to come another day. The Northern Irishman is too far back to catch Germany’s heir apparent to Bernhard Langer.

McDowell managed his second sub-70 round on the Earth Course Saturday when he returned a third-round 69 to move to 2 under par for the championship. But it isn’t good enough.

The U.S. Open champion has to finish at least third and hope Kaymer has a disaster in the final round. He’s got two hopes of that happening: none, and Bob.

“Barring the impossible, I think Europe’s No. 1 is not a reality for me anymore,” McDowell said.

That was the understatement of the year, considering Kaymer is in contention for the title, so it was good McDowell finally acknowledged that getting to the top of the European pecking order was beyond his reach.

“Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and wave the white flag and say you know what, it’s not my week.”

The former UAB standout can look back on a great season that saw him win three times, including his first major, and notch the winning point in Europe’s Ryder Cup victory.

“What have I most learned about myself this year? That I’m good enough,” he said. “I know how much room I’ve got for improvement, but it’s great to see that my best golf is good enough to compete with the world’s best.

“I’m just going to take a lot of belief from what I’ve achieved this year, and I’m going to pour that back into myself for the years going forward. Continue to try and improve, try to get to the world’s best player.

“Two or three years ago, the No. 1 player in the world seemed untouchable. I believe that if I work hard the next few years, I could become the best player in the world.”

He’ll have to get in line behind Kaymer. The German has a chance to supersede Westwood at the top of the world order Sunday if he can finish second or better and Westwood slips down the leaderboard.

McDowell was quick to acknowledge that he has a little bit of work to do to catch up on Kaymer.

“He’s got that unemotional, iceman kind of attitude,” McDowell said. “Under the surface there’s a very motivated individual.

“He’s going to win the Race to Dubai. He’s one of the best players in the world and certainly deserves everything he’s achieved.”

Kudos to McDowell for being so gracious, but it’s hard not to be impressed by Germany’s top player.

Long live King Kaymer.

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