MARANA, Ariz. (AP) — Martin Kaymer wore a stylish white neck muffler with black fly – as in fly fishing – designs Saturday in the Match Play Championship.
“I don’t know how it’s called in English – snood?” said Kaymer, the German star set to face Luke Donald in the final Sunday. “I heard a lot of guys in soccer, they are using that. I just got it yesterday in order to stay warm. And maybe it’s a European thing. Maybe we’ll see it more often on the PGA Tour.”
He didn’t pack a turtleneck for the week.
“No, I’m staying in Scottsdale, usually to get ready for tournaments,” Kaymer said. “When you drive only one and a half hours, you’re not expecting to bring a sweater, even. But if we needed a turtleneck, I was not expecting that.”
Kaymer beat Miguel Angel Jimenez in the quarterfinals and Bubba Watson in the semifinals, winning both matches 1 up. By reaching the final, Kaymer will take the top spot from Lee Westwood in the next world ranking.
SUNDAY FORECAST: Rain and possibly snow is expected Sunday morning, giving way to partly cloudy conditions with a chance of showers in the afternoon.
The high is expected to 52 degrees with 10-20 mph wind.
The final between Martin Kaymer and Luke Donald is scheduled to start at 12:15 p.m. Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar tee off in the third-place match 15 minutes earlier.
Tournament officials altered the weekend schedule Friday because of the threat strong wind Saturday, moving up the starting times for the quarterfinals and switching the semifinals from Sunday to Saturday.
The wind was 10-20 mph with gusts to nearly 30 mph Saturday, lower than officials feared.
INTERNATIONAL WINNER: Martin Kaymer or Luke Donald will give international players their third straight victory since the event moved to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.
Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy won in 2009 and England’s Ian Poulter won last year.
Kaymer beat Seung-yul Noh (7 and 6), Justin Rose (20 holes), Hunter Mahan (2 and 1), Miguel Angel Jimenez (1 up) and Bubba Watson (1 up) to reach the final.
Donald beat Charley Hoffman (6 and 5), Edoardo Molinari (2 and 1), Matteo Manassero (3 and 2), Ryan Moore (5 and 4) and Matt Kuchar (6 and 5).
Donald is 15-6 in seven appearances in the event, while Kaymer is 7-3 in four.
In Europe’s victory over the United States last year in the Ryder Cup, Donald beat Jim Furyk 1-up in singles and Dustin Johnson routed Kaymer 6 and 4.
“He’s a little bit better on the putter,” Kaymer said about Donald. “He’s very good in the short game. He’s one of the best match play players in the world, otherwise he wouldn’t be in the final. He has a lot of experience in Ryder Cups.”
WELL-RESTED: Luke Donald has played only 73 holes in five matches, without ever trailing, and is making just his second start after an 11-week layoff.
“It’s a long year, the tour, and it was important for me to take a little extra time just to work on some stuff but also have a break,” Donald said. “And everyone needs to recharge, occasionally. And I felt like I needed to this year. … I think it had been seven or eight years since I’d had a really decent offseason.”
He missed the cut last week at Riviera, shooting 68-79.
“I wasn’t too worried,” Donald said. “I played quite nicely on the Thursday and to come out and really have nothing go my way and play pretty poorly was disappointing. But I wasn’t worried. I felt like I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work and it was going to turn around and it just happened to turn around this week.”
DIVOTS: J.B. Holmes hit a 415-yard drive on the par-5 second hole in his 19-hole loss to Bubba Watson in the quarterfinals. Holmes won the hole with a conceded eagle after hitting his wedge approach to 2 feet. … The quarterfinal losers received $270,000. The winner will earn $1.4 million, second is worth $850,000, third $600,000 and fourth $490,000.