DUBAI // The US PGA champion Martin Kaymer won the European Tour money title after his only challenger Graeme McDowell came up short at the season-ending Dubai World Championship.
Kaymer and McDowell both finished in a tie for 13th with six-under totals of 282, and the Northern Irishman needed to place in the top three to have a chance to overtake the German. But his four-under 68 was never going to be enough, and Kaymer (72) clinched the title while still on the course.
Kaymer follows in the footsteps of Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie and compatriot Bernhard Langer by ending the season as the European Tour's No 1.
"It's been a fantastic year," Kaymer said. "All of the goals that I set for myself, for my career, everything happened this year. To win the Race to Dubai, No 1, and to play the Ryder Cup, and to win a major."
"So, we'll see what happens next year," he joked.
McDowell said he was happy to have taken the 48-week race for the money title to the wire.
"Things didn't really go my way this week," he said. "It's a golf course which frustrated me last year and continues to frustrate me."
Reasonably confident that McDowell could not catch him on the Order of Merit rankings, Kaymer said he had enjoyed the final round more than usual.
"It was not my best round of the week but I really enjoyed the week and I really enjoyed the last round that I played," he said.
His next goal will be to dislodge Lee Westwood atop the world rankings.
"If it happens, it happens," Kaymer said. "But if it doesn't happen, I hope that I will have the chance in a few years again."