VIRGINIA WATER, England, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Martin Kaymer's defense of the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship title allowed him to pass Tiger Woods and move into the No. 2 spot in the men's world golf rankings.
Kaymer won in Abu Dhabi for the third time in four years, finishing the tournament Sunday at 24-under-par and winning by eight strokes. Since August, when he won the PGA Championship, Kaymer has collected four tournament titles.
That strong play allowed him to move to No. 2, dropping Woods to third. It is the first time since October 2004 Woods hasn't been ranked either first or second in the world.
Lee Westwood, who knocked Woods from the top spot Oct. 31, remains No. 1 with a rankings point average of 8.692. Kaymer is at 8.092 and Woods, who is to start his 2011 season this week, is third with a 7.126 average.
Graeme McDowell (6.415) is fourth but Steve Stricker (6.022) moves ahead of Phil Mickelson (5.992) for the No. 5 spot. After Mickelson is Rory McIlroy (5.925), whose runner-up finish to Abu Dhabi boosted him from 12th to seventh.
That knocked a series of golfers down one place this week. Jim Furyk (5.647) is eighth ahead of No. 9 Paul Casey (5.630) and Luke Donald (5.421) completes the Top 10. Ernie Els (5.421) slips to 11th.