10 Feb 2011

Top three golfers to play in same group

6:51 am on 10 February 2011

The battle for world golf supremacy will be contested at the Dubai Desert Classic this week with the top three in the rankings - Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Tiger Woods - in the same group for the first two rounds.

It is a rare sight to see the game's leading trio playing together competitively and it will make for compelling viewing.

Top draw Woods cannot regain his world number one spot from Lee Westwood, who ended his 281-week long reign on October 31st, although a win could put him back above Kaymer into second spot.

The young German prodigy, who won his first Major at the USPGA last August, harbours hopes of emulating Bernhard Langer as a German world number one if he wins and Westwood finishes lower than second.

Similarly if Kaymer is second alone and Westwood is outside the top 10, the German will take top spot.

Early season form favours Kaymer, who moved ahead of Woods with his runaway win in Abu Dhabi last month.

Westwood missed the cut, a rare flop for him, in Qatar last week while Woods opened his year modestly with a disappointing tie for 44th place at Torrey Pines in California.

The American's last win came at the Australian Masters in November, 2009 shortly after which his life was thrown into turmoil by a sex scandal that wrecked his marriage and shattered his image.

Woods says getting back into the winner's circle is his priority, not regaining his number one spot.