Fresh from winning his first European Tour money title on Sunday, reigning PGA Champion Martin Kaymer of Germany has withdrawn from the Chevron World Challenge.
Kaymer wrapped up the Order of Merit on Sunday when he shared 13th in the Dubai World Championship. He was replaced in the 18-man field at Sherwood Country Club by Nick Watney.
The Chevron World Challenge, hosted by Tiger Woods, starts Thursday. All 18 players are among the top 50 in the world ranking.
Kaymer and Graeme McDowell, his only remaining challenger, finished the season-ending Dubai World Championship in a tie for 13th with 6-under totals of 282, but the Northern Irishman needed to place in the top three to have a chance to overtake the German. His 4-under 68 was not enough, and Kaymer, who finished with a 72, clinched the title while still on the course.
Kaymer follows in the footsteps of Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie and 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.”
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.”
Kaymer’s next goal will be to dislodge Lee Westwood, last season’s leading money winner and current world No. 1, from atop the world rankings.
“If it happens, it happens,” he said. “But if it doesn’t happen, I hope that I will have the chance in a few years again.”