Germany’s Martin Kaymer held off a strong final-round challenge from Englishman Ian Poulter to capture a second Abu Dhabi Golf Championship by one shot.
Holding a one-shot lead overnight, Kaymer – partnered with Poulter and Rory McIlroy for the final round – traded blows with both men throughout the last 18 holes, with Poulter edging ahead of the German only to be pegged back and the pair stood on the 18th tee locked together on 20-under par.
Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, couldn’t live with the frenetic pace of the duel and despite holding a chance to overhaul the leaders, the Irishman could only maintain his third place to claim an eighth top-10 finish from his last nine events but still managed to card a five-under 67.
It all came down to the last regulation hole – a par-five – and with good drives required in order to have a chance of reaching the green in two, it was Kaymer who held the upper hand, splitting the fairway with his drive while Poulter pushed his drive into the rough on the left. Any chance McIlroy had at the last was gone when he went deep into the rough on the opposite side of the fairway.
It was perhaps too much of a gamble by either man to go for the green from their respective positions, so both laid up short of the green while Kaymer fired his second onto the right-hand side of the green in two. Rolling his approach to within three feet, it left both Poulter and McIlroy with crucial putts to have any hope but both men missed their attempts to leave the German out in front. Kaymer holed his birdie putt for a final round of 66 to claim a second win in the event in three years – he finished runner-up last year and clearly plays the Abu Dhabi Golf Club very well.
His winning score of 21-under par was the same score he shot in his previous win in the tournament.
While Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie will undoubtedly be pleased to see the excellent performances by three of his likely team members, YourGolfTravel punters should hopefully also be quids in after Kaymer was tipped to win the event in our tournament preview.