Who is this No. 1 Kaymer, anyway?

TIM McKAY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

Martin Kaymer made headlines last week for wearing a scarf during the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.

Oh yeah, and he usurped Lee Westwood for top spot on the Official World Golf Ranking.

But who is this guy?

He plays mostly in Europe, he won the PGA Championship last year -- a tournament most remember as the one Dustin Johnson lost because of the "bunker" -- and his European Tour profile lists his hobby as go-karting.

His nickname? The Germanator, apparently.

The 26-year-old Monday became the second German to hold the top rank, the first since Berhard Langer was the inaugural No. 1 when the official ranking began in 1986. But, by his own admission, Kaymer says he likely wouldn't be recognized on the street in Germany, a place he hasn't visited for any extended period of time since his major victory.

"In Germany, it's very difficult to get (fan) respect and recognition because we have only soccer and Formula One which are pretty big," the 26-year-old said last week. "And as a golf player, you barely get recognized at all."

While Lee Westwood's No. 1 ranking was called into question because of the number of times he had won in the past couple years and the significance of those tournaments, Kaymer's track record over the same time period speaks for itself.

He won three times on the European Tour last season, including his first two starts following his triumph at the PGA in Whistling Straits, to earn player of the year status. And he won by eight shots against a great field in January for his second consecutive victory at Abu Dhabi.

Kaymer is the second-youngest of the 14 players in the history of the ranking to reach the top, behind only to Tiger Woods. And it looks as if he has some staying power, too, even if he loses the top seed in the coming weeks.

RORY'S SCHOOLBOY ANTICS

While he should be writing essays at university, 21-year-old Rory McIlroy got himself into a bit of a pickle with a dissertation for Sports Illustrated.

The latest in a line of brave souls to call out Woods, McIlroy wrote: "I wasn't playing against Tiger Woods when he had that aura. I was watching on TV! ... There was a presence about him. There still is to some extent ...

"... It's not that he's playing badly. He's simply playing badly by Tiger's standards. He's playing like an ordinary golfer."

But McIlroy's Twitter foil, Westwood, was quick to put the schoolboy in his place Tuesday during a news conference for this week's Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

"That's the answer that a 21-year-old would give, isn't it?," Westwood said, drawing laughs. "Thirty-seven-yearolds are a little wiser."

"I think, having played with Tiger since 1997 or something like that, there's an old saying that class is permanent and form is fickle, and you know, he's the classiest player I've ever played with and I'd be wise enough to know not to write him off."

"I'll have a word with Rory later."

Maybe he did, as McIlroy the same day wrote on Twitter:

"Hate that the media thinks I'm taking jabs at tiger all the time! Best that's ever lived, EVER! Just not playing his best at the minute. If he plays his best we're all screwed! LOL hard to dodge the tiger questions when u get 10 every interview you do!!!"

WEIRD WATCH

Mike Weir must make $217,097 US this week at the Honda Classic, his final start under his five-event major medical exemption, to retain full status on the PGA Tour.

That means he'll likely need a Top-5 finish.

Should Weir fail, he will have to rely on sponsors' exemptions and invitations.

tim.mckay@sunmedia.ca Twitter@TimMcKayGolf


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