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Woods set to be dethroned

Valderrama: Martin Kaymer will end Tiger Woods’ five-year run as the world’s top-ranked golfer if he wins the Andalucia Masters starting at Valderrama on Thursday.

The 25-year-old German will become No. 1 for the first time if he also finishes in second place tied with no more than one other player.

But no matter the result in southern Spain on Sunday, Woods’ reign will end.

If Kaymer doesn’t finish high enough, Lee Westwood will replace Woods even though both aren’t in action this week, because the Englishman’s average of ranking points gained over the past two years will go above Woods’ on Monday.

Kaymer, who has won four tournaments this year including his first major at the US PGA Championship in August, insists that climbing to the top of the rankings is not currently at the top of his priorities.

“Of course it is one of the goals I want to achieve in my career,” he says. “But at the moment I am concentrating on trying to win the Race to Dubai.”

That goal, too, is well within his grasp. With five events remaining on the European Tour, Kaymer has a euro995,561 lead over Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell in the money list.

McDowell, the US Open champion, is at Valderrama, giving the new tournament two major champions in the field chasing the euro500,000 ($690,000) first prize.

However, even if Kaymer wins his fourth straight strokeplay event in Spain to add to the U.S. PGA, Dutch Open and Dunhill Links titles, the Race to Dubai will not be settled until next month.

Three of the final four tournaments in Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai carry a winner's purse in excess of euro700,000.

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