Germany’s Martin Kaymer is set to leapfrog Tiger Woods into second place in the world rankings while American Phil Mickelson appears likely to drop to fifth following the Abu Dhabi Championships on Sunday.
US PGA champion Kaymer heads into Sunday’s final round with a healthy five-shot lead in his first event of the new season, needing only a top-seven finish in the UAE capital to usurp Woods in the rankings.
That scenario would mean two Europeans will occupy the top two spots for the first time since 1993 with Kaymer slotting in behind Britain’s Lee Westwood.
Eighteen years ago, it was also a Briton ahead of a German, when Nick Faldo topped the standings ahead of Bernhard Langer.
“It’s going to be quite nice if I go to number two,” Kaymer told reporters.
“I consider Tiger Woods the best player in the world or the best golfer that ever lived. And to be in front of him for one week or a month, that would make me happy for sure.”
Defending champion Kaymer will begin his final round on 18-under par with his Ryder Cup-winning team mate Rory McIlroy giving chase on 13-under.
Fellow Briton Graeme McDowell is in sixth place on nine-under and the joint world number four, level with Mickelson, only has to finish ahead of the US Masters champion to ensure the American drops a spot to fifth.
Mickelson will start his closing round in a share of 39th position at three under par.
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