SHANGHAI, China - Germany's Martin Kaymer saved his best round for when it mattered most, recording a tournament low 9-under 63 to swing his way to a 20-under-par victory at the 2011 HSBC Golf Champions.
Beginning the day tied for sixth at 11-under, former world number one Kaymer played a mistake free final 18 holes, nailing nine birdies, including a stretch of four straight between the ninth and twelfth holes, to take home his second title in 2011.
"Today felt very comfortable over the putts. I hit a lot of good irons," commented Kaymer. "I just played really good golf, and finally I'm glad that it came together . . . here, [at] the World Golf Championships event."
While Kaymer rose up the leader board with a near-perfect putting game, Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson was unable to duplicate his success in previous rounds, bogeying three times on the day to finish with a 1-under 71, good enough for second place overall at 17-under-par.
"I thought the course was playing a bit tougher today. It was a bit windier, a bit chillier," offered Jacobson. "I wish I could have made maybe a couple more putts along the way to really get a little bit of a cushion and put a little bit more pressure on Martin coming down the stretch."
Jacobson was not the only player to fall victim to the fast greens at Sheshan Golf Club, world number two Lee Westwood, who began the day with a chance of taking home the Old Tom Morris Cup, shot a 2-over 74, bogeying five times, along with a double bogey on the 603-yard eighth hole, to finish at 10-under for the tournament.
Local hero Zhang XinJun also dropped off the leader board, bogeying twice on the front nine and double bogeying the mammoth eighth hole to finish at even par for the day, and 10-under through 72 holes.
World number three Rory McIlroy jumped out of the gate with birdies on the first two holes, but a bogey on the tenth hole and a costly double bogey on the thirteenth ultimately proved too much for the Northern Irish star to overcome, finishing the day with a 3-under 69, and a share of fourth place over all, tying South African Charl Schwartzel and England's Paul Casey at 15-under-par.
"I had a few pars, had a few chances on the front nine and didn't take them," added McIlroy. "Not really what I was looking for today but . . . I would have had to do something very special to keep up with Martin today."
Finishing just ahead of McIlroy, at 16-under-par, was his compatriot Graeme McDowell, who shot a 5-under 67 for the day.
With the win, and 1.2 million-dollar prize, Kaymer now moves into second place in the Race to Dubai standings, just behind world number one Luke Donald, who withdrew from the Shanghai field to attend the birth of his second child.