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Kaymer in final, will be No. 1

MARANA, Ariz. — Stoic as ever, Martin Kaymer rolled in an 8-foot par on the 18th hole Saturday and treated it like another day at the office, removing his cap to shake hands with his latest victim.

Kaymer isn't ready to celebrate becoming the new No. 1 player in golf.

Right now, he just wants to be No. 1 at the Match Play Championship.

The German outlasted Bubba Watson to end a long day at Dove Mountain and reach today's championship match, assured that he will be No. 1 in the next world ranking.

Kaymer, 26, becomes the 14th player to top the ranking and the second-youngest. Tiger Woods was 21 when he first reached the top in June 1997.

But the celebration will have to wait. Next up for Kaymer is Luke Donald, who set a record in the World Golf Championships event by needing only 73 holes in five matches to reach the final.

"When I hear those things, that I'm No. 1 in the world on Monday … I'm in the middle of a tournament," Kaymer said. "It would be fantastic (today) if I could win. Then it really feels like I deserve to be No. 1. I'm not saying that I don't deserve it, but it would make me feel better if I would win instead of finishing second.

"So yes," he said with a smile, "it's a little strange."

There should be no debate whether he deserves to be No. 1. He ends the 17-week reign of Lee Westwood, who only had three wins on his world ranking ledger when he became No. 1.

Kaymer has won seven times in the past two years, including his first major at the PGA Championship in August, when he made a clutch putt on the final hole to beat Watson in a three-hole playoff.

Yet at Dove Mountain, nobody has been more dominant than Donald, an Englishman who has yet to trail in any of his five matches. Donald only had to play 27 holes in his quarterfinal win over Ryan Moore and his demolition of Matt Kuchar in the semis.

This is the second straight year for an all-European final in the WGC event. A year ago, Ian Poulter defeated Paul Casey for the championship.

In the quarterfinals, Watson was five down with eight to play against J.B. Holmes when he staged an amazing comeback. Holmes hit it into the desert at the wrong time and lost in 19 holes.

Kaymer beat Miguel Angel Jimenez 1 up in the quarterfinals.

PGA: Johnson Wagner moved into contention for his second tour title, shooting 6-under 65 for a one-stroke lead over Chris Stroud after the third round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Wagner, the 2008 Houston Open winner, was at 13-under 200 on the Greg Norman-designed El Camaleon course on the Caribbean coast.

LPGA: Chie Arimura of Japan shot 1-under 71 for a one-stroke lead at 11-under 205 over Karrie Webb after the third round of the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore. Top-ranked Yani Tseng trailed by six after shooting 69. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome was tied for 11th, 10 strokes back, after shooting 71. Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (75) was 9 over.

Kaymer in final, will be No. 1 02/26/11 [Last modified: Saturday, February 26, 2011 10:58pm]
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