Kaymer extends advantage

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Despite a strong finish from Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer looks almost certain to start his season off with a victory.

Despite a strong finish from Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer looks almost certain to start his season off with victory at the Abu Dhabi Championship.

McIlroy finished with a birdie and an eagle on the 17th and 18th for a 65, closing the gap for only a short while before Kaymer (66) also birdied his last two holes, extending his lead to five shots heading into the final round.

Kaymer, who is in imperious form at present, look set to push Tiger Woods a further spot back on the world rankings and claim the No. 2 spot for his own.

The 26-year-old has only carded one bogey in his last 79 holes of professional golf, an impressive statistic by any measure.

Unsurprisingly, McIlroy doesn’t expect the German to let his advantage slip.

“Martin is a very good leader,” he said. “He does not lose many tournaments from the position he is in.

“If I give myself enough opportunities, as I did today, I am sure there’s a low score out there and hopefully I will go close.

“But Martin is playing very, very well.

“I could have holed a few more, but it’s swings and roundabouts and I will take 65 any day.”

Kaymer, looking to secure his third Abu Dhabi Championship in four years, is now 74 under par for his last 15 rounds at the venue. A top seven finish will be good enough to unseat Tiger on the rankings.

Kaymer also made no bones about what he expect from himself come Sunday.

“My driving didn’t feel so good, but I managed to hit the greens, my putting feels good and 66 is a fantastic round.

“Now I expect myself to win and I’d like to win by as many as possible. I rarely shoot over 70 on the course (just once in 15 rounds) and that’s my goal.”

England’s David Lynn (67) is in third place a further shot behind McIlroy, while Swede Alex Noren and South African Charl Schwartzel are both two further back in fourth.

Elsewhere, it was a disappointing day for the likes of Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood, who didn’t manage to make up any ground on the leaders. Phil Mickelson, in one of his rare European Tour appearances, is also well off the pace.

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