Lee Westwood will be defending his No. 1 world ranking against Martin Kaymer when they tee off in the Qatar Masters on Thursday.
Westwood, who in October replaced Tiger Woods at the top, needs to finish no worse than second to keep his spot if the No. 2-ranked Kaymer wins the tournament.
Kaymer, who won last month’s Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, could also claim No. 1 for the first time with a second-place finish as long as Westwood finishes no higher than 22nd.
Westwood, yet to win this season on the European Tour, admits the course in Doha is a challenge but says he’s hopeful he will fare better than last year’s third place.
Kaymer downplayed the battle for No. 1, insisting he just wants to keep playing well.