Kaymer: Pressure beginning to ease
Martin Kaymer said the pressure was easing in the race to be crowned Europe's number one after money-list rival Graeme McDowell found reverse gear in Friday's Dubai World Championship second round.
The 25-year-old Germa opened up an eight-shot advantage in his head-to-head duel with McDowell after the Briton struggled to a 73 for a one-over total of 145 in the season finale in the Gulf.
"Of course you don't like to see someone playing bad," Kaymer said after shooting a two-under-par 70 for a seven-under tally of 137.
"Sure it makes it a little bit easier. If he was leading the tournament there would be more pressure on me," added the US Tour champion after tucking in two strokes behind tournament leaders Ross Fisher and Ian Poulter of Britain.
"My priority is to win the golf tournament and if I win here then nobody can catch me (in the money-list). That's my goal."
Up for grabs for Kaymer and McDowell, the only two players who can top the money-list, is a $1.26 million cheque for winning the tournament plus a $1.5 million bonus for finishing the season as Europe's number one.
"He (McDowell) deserves to come second in the Race to Dubai," added Kaymer. "He won a major this year (at the US Open), he has had a great season so coming second is fine."
Some of the German's own approach shots went a little astray on Friday and he described his round as "only okay".
"I didn't really hit a lot of greens," said Kaymer. "I struggled a little bit to save pars.
"It would have been nice to pick up one or two more shots but it's only halftime. We have 36 holes to go and I can still win."
With Ryder Cup team mates Fisher and Poulter leading the way at the Dubai World Championship and world number one Lee Westwood one stroke adrift in third place, it is Europe's big guns who are holding sway at the Greg Norman-designed Earth course.
"You have to strike the ball very well here," said Kaymer. "You have to place the ball on the greens to get good birdie chances.
"You need a lot of strategy and I think the guys who are experienced, who have played in the Ryder Cup a few times, they know really well how to play this golf course."
Kaymer will overtake Westwood at the summit of the world rankings if he wins the tournament and Westwood is lower than second, or if the German comes second and the Briton is outside the top 27.