Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Kaymer gets the title, Poulter gets the headlines, they're both probably quite happy with that arrangement.

It was a tight finish to the Abu Dhabi Championship at the weekend with about as stellar a final group as one could wish for. Early leader Ian Poulter, future world No 1 (TM), Rory Mc and the rising power of Germany Martin Kaymer making one of the best final three balls the European tour has had in a long time. It turned into a bit of a two man show as Poulter and Kaymer kept one foot in front of Rory. Kaymer had started the day one shot clear of the English man and it stayed pretty much that way for most of the day, Poulter never quite able to make the most of his opportunities to push Kaymer further.

The field was as good as you get on the European Tour, and it marks a step up in the calibre of tournament that Kaymer has won so far. Only 25, this Kaymers fifth win on tour yet he rarely gets a mention amongst Europeans leading lights - this weeks rankings should change that. Though not completely. For despite the fact that the lanky German has now catapulted himself to number 6 in the world, the headlines on Monday hailed the fact that Ian Poulter had edged his way into the top ten for the first time in his career - just scraping past McIlory into 10th. A tad unfair on Kaymer.

One thing that has come of Poulters great leap forward (or toe dip to be more accurate) is that for the first time in literally oodles of years, make that the first time ever since the rankings were formally introduced, there are three Englishman in the top ten in the world. Ten years ago, Lee Westwood was the only one in the top 100. Europeans now outnumber Americans in the upper echelons too. Maybe, just maybe this is the year that the strength in European Golf translates into Major wins. Rory Mc at St Andrews, that's my tip - even if that randy man is back for it...

A word for another young Irishman, Shane Lowry, a cracking final round from him has gotten him into the top 100 and a fair few quid in his pocket too, two things he didn't get from his Irish Open win last year. Why enter as an amateur, it only hurts if you win...

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