Kaymer voted January’s best golfer

Martin Kaymer has won European Tour Golfer of the Month award for January following his dominant defence in Abu Dhabi.

Martin Kaymer has won The Race to Dubai European Tour Golfer of the Month award for January following his dominant defence of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

The German, who receives an engraved alms dish in recognition of his achievement, set a new tournament record low total of 264 (24 under par) with rounds of 67-65-66-66.

It was his third victory in the six-year history of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship (he had also won in 2008 and 2010) and he finished eight shots clear of Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy to capture a fourth title in his last eight European Tour appearances.

His latest triumph saw Kaymer become the quickest player ever to earn €10million in European Tour Official Career Earnings, the prize money coming from just 100 events, and it moved him to second place behind Lee Westwood of England on the Official World Golf Rankings list.

It also marked the first occasion that two Europeans have been Number One and Two in the world since 1993, when Sir Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer occupied the same positions.

Kaymer said: “I’ve won the Golfer of the Month award four times now and it is always a nice trophy to win. I’m collecting them! It’s good to have an extra trophy in my living room. I played very well in Abu Dhabi. I know Tiger has won by 15 shots before but to win a golf tournament by eight shots is pretty good going.”

Broadcaster Di Stewart, a member of the judging panel, said: “It was another difficult decision for the judging panel with so many strong contenders for January’s award. After much debate, Martin Kaymer came out on top for yet another stunning performance. Martin said his win was the best golf he’s ever played and to beat the field by eight shots, after a winter break, can only be described as remarkable.

“He is certainly an Abu Dhabi specialist having won the title three times in four years, but this victory was perhaps the most impressive of them all as he showed his quality against a world-class field. He was cool, calm and collected. Alles wunderbar for the German! Martin’s victory last year in Abu Dhabi spurred an amazing season which included a Major, a Ryder Cup appearance and The Race to Dubai title – who knows what 2011 holds for him?”

It was another notable month of performances on The European Tour for the judges to consider in arriving at their decision.

The panel commended Louis Oosthuizen, the winner of the South African Open on home soil; his compatriot Charl Schwartzel, who won the Joburg Open and had top ten finishes in the Africa Open and Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship; and Paul Casey, who claimed his first European Tour title in 20 months in the Volvo Golf Champions.