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New world No. 2 Kaymer has the fear factor - Harrington

ESPN staff
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Martin Kaymer has won four of his last eight European Tour events © Getty Images
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Martin Kaymer is developing an intimidating aura that amplifies pressure on his rivals, according to Ryder Cup team-mate Padraig Harrington.

Kaymer won the Abu Dhabi Championship for the third time in four attempts on Sunday, lifting himself above Tiger Woods as the new world No. 2. Woods will now begin his season outside the top two for the first time since 2004.

Kaymer's victory over the weekend now means he gets the trophy for keeps from tournament organisers. The German negotiated the final 60 holes without conceding a bogey, eventually winning by eight strokes, and Harrington claims it is now Kaymer - not Woods - who has the fear factor when he is out in front.

"He's probably the most formidable player in the world when he is leading," said Harrington. "He seems to intimidate the rest of the field into believing that if he gets in front he is going to win."

Rory McIlroy, who finished second in Abu Dhabi to move up to seventh in the world rankings, echoed the words of Harrington by admitting he never had a chance of catching Kaymer.

"After the first few holes I was just trying to consolidate second place," revealed McIlroy. "Martin played so well this week, I don't think there's anyone in the world who could've topped him here."

Europe now boasts the world's top two players, in Kaymer and Lee Westwood, for the first time since 1993.

Elsewhere, PGA Tour rookie Jhonattan Vegas took a big leap up to the world No. 86 spot after his play-off victory at the Bob Hope Classic.

World Rankings
1. Lee Westwood (Eng), 2. Martin Kaymer (Ger), 3. Tiger Woods (USA), 4. Graeme McDowell (NI), 5. Steve Stricker (USA), 6. Phil Mickelson (USA), 7. Rory McIlroy (NI), 8. Jim Furyk (USA), 9. Paul Casey (Eng), 10. Luke Donald (Eng), 11. Ernie Els (RSA), 12. Ian Poulter (Eng), 13. Matt Kuchar (USA), 14. Retief Goosen (RSA), 15. Francesco Molinari (Ita), 16. Dustin Johnson (USA), 17. Robert Karlsson (Sweden), 18. Louis Oosthuizen (RSA), 19. Edoardo Molinari (Ita), 20. Tim Clark (RSA)

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