Kaymer: Tiger adds extra spice
Dubai - Martin Kaymer is excited at the prospect of taking on former world No 1 Tiger Woods at next month's Abu Dhabi Championship, the German said on Saturday.
Both golfers will start their 2012 seasons at the January 26-29 European Tour event and Kaymer said the 14-times major winner's decision to make his debut at the tournament would add extra spice to proceedings.
"It's good for Tiger he's playing in Abu Dhabi and when I saw the news it was exciting," the 2010 US PGA winner told Reuters after rocketing into contention at the Dubai World Championship with a course record-tying 64, eight under par.
Kaymer, who is also a former world No 1, has had something of a grip on the Abu Dhabi event in recent years, lifting the trophy in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
"It's great for the region that Tiger is playing because he has played many times in Dubai and won the Desert Classic," said the 26-year-old.
"Lee Westwood and myself played with Tiger for two rounds in the Desert Classic this year and it was fun and hopefully I will get paired with him again in Abu Dhabi.
"It is one of the great tournaments we have on the European Tour schedule so it's brilliant he's coming back over to this part of the world," added the fourth-ranked Kaymer.
"Tiger's appearance will add that little bit of extra spice and to see him win his own event (Chevron World Challenge) in California last week was special.
"Everyone is pleased he has broken that long drought of not winning. It was just a matter of time," he said of world No 21 Woods.
Kaymer ended his third round on Saturday in spectacular fashion by holing out from a bunker for an eagle three as he ended up on 208, eight under par.
He also produced six birdies to make up for earlier rounds of 73 and 71.
"The bunker shot was a good one and it ended a good round," said Kaymer after equalling the record held by Westwood and his fellow Briton Ross Fisher, Swede Peter Hanson and Spain's Alvaro Quiros.
"I hit a lot of good shots today and still had a number of other chances for birdies. But to shoot eight-under, it's been a brilliant round."
Out on the course supporting Kaymer was Germany's Martina Eberl-Ellis, a triple winner on the European Ladies Tour who is now a teaching pro in Munich after giving birth a year ago to her first child.
Eberl-Ellis was accompanied by Britain's Melissa Reid, a double tour winner this season and a member of the victorious European Solheim Cup team.
Reid is in the city for next week's Dubai Ladies Masters.
"I did see Martina out there today but didn't get to talk to her of course as I was more focused on what I was doing," said Kaymer. "But it's nice to see her out here supporting me and there were a lot of Germans following us today.
"I have accepted I have a role as a standard bearer for German golf now and ... I am very glad I am in that position."