DORAL, Fla. -- Martin Kaymer couldn't have asked for a much better gift after reaching No.1 in the world rankings.
Meeting up with his brother and a friend after the WGC Match Play back at his Arizona home, Kaymer was told they needed to make a trip to the airport.
It was there that he was met by his father, Horst, who had hopped a flight from their native Germany to offer his personal kudos.
"I congratulate you for being No.1 in the world," Horst Kaymer told his son. "Next time in Germany, who knows if you're still No.1, so I just wanted to take the opportunity to say congratulations."
The visit lasted only a day, getting in a couple rounds at Whisper Rock before the elder Kaymer climbed back aboard a plane.
"Not a lot of parents do that," Martin Kaymer said of the surprise. "It was a 30-hour trip for pretty much 24 hours he was there. ... We had a good time together."
Tiger Woods, who missed last year's Doral while dealing with scandal fallout, turned up on Tuesday to get in an early nine holes of practice.
Woods strolled onto the putting green just before 1 p.m., stroked a handful of putts while chatting with fellow pros, then headed to the No.1 tee for a quick nine with Hunter Mahan and Justin Rose.
Mahan and Rose also are coached by Orlando's Sean Foley, who accompanied the trio on their round.
Since Doral became part of the WGC lineup, which has no pro-ams, Woods typically had waited until Wednesday to reacquaint himself with the TPC Blue Monster. He's expected to get in a full practice round Wednesday morning, then address the media near the scorecard area.
Woods also learned he'll be paired with Phil Mickelson and U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell for the first two rounds. Pairings are determined by world golf rankings, and Woods is sandwiched between No.4 McDowell and No.6 Mickelson.
It will be the first time Woods and Mickelson have played together since Sunday of last year's BMW Championship. Their most memorable pairing came at Doral, when they dueled in the final Sunday group before Woods emerged victorious by a shot.
A year ago this week, Jhonattan Vegas had just missed a Nationwide Tour cut and faced a month of downtime before his next start. Now he's playing in a World Golf Championships event, with the Masters not far off.
"I guess this is the beauty of this game," the Venezuelan pro said. "You never know when things are going to happen. All you can do is work."
After finishing No.2 on the Nationwide money list to earn his PGA Tour card, Vegas punched his ticket to Doral and Augusta by winning the Bob Hope Classic.
Spotted in the crowd: LPGA pro Morgan Pressel, who drove down to Doral from her Boca Raton home to hang out at the putting green with the rest of the practice-day crowd.
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MARTIN KAYMER: Doral marks the young German's debut as the world's No.1 player, but he's deserving of the throne with seven wins in the past 104 weeks that make up the rankings window. Hard to believe that 106 weeks ago, he was just making his WGC debut.
LEE WESTWOOD: Former rankings No.1 ran hot-and-cold at last week's Honda Classic, including a Saturday finish in which he bogeyed each of his final four holes. The English pro hasn't finished higher than 15th in five starts this year.
GRAEME McDOWELL: If the U.S. Open champ is close to the lead on Sunday, bank on him. McDowell already has two PGA Tour course records in his two Sunday rounds, including last week at Honda. His Sunday scoring average in 2011 stands at 64.33.
TIGER WOODS: Three-time Doral champion has played just one competitive round in the past five weeks -- a first-round ouster at the WGC Match Play, courtesy of Thomas Bjorn. His two stroke-play events bring this disconcerting stat: Sunday rounds of 74 and 75.
PHIL MICKELSON: Two top-10 finishes in his first three starts had Mickelson's up-and-down stock rising, but slipped to 35th in Los Angeles and bounced in the second round of the WGC Match Play. Used last week to help launch arthritis-awareness campaign.
RORY SABBATINI: New Honda Classic champion makes Doral his ninth consecutive start, but has yet to run low on gas. New putter in Sabbatini's bag helped him zero in on mid-range putts at PGA National. Also tied for fifth one week earlier in Mexico.
Y.E. YANG: Former PGA Championship winner made sure Sabbatini earned his victory, closing a five-shot deficit to one on PGA National's back nine before falling short. Yang also reached the quarterfinals of the WGC Match Play one week earlier, so he's humming.
ERNIE ELS: Defending WGC-Doral champion struggled last week at Honda Classic, including an opening 75 and Saturday 78. That prompted him to put in some extra work back home at the Bear's Club in Jupiter. Sounds awfully similar to last year's setup.
CHARL SCHWARTZEL: After pushing Els to the crown a year ago, South African took out PGA Tour membership for 2011 and tied for 14th at last week's Honda. He also happened to be Els' houseguest last year, but is opting for his own rented digs during this stretch.
GEOFF OGILVY: Three finishes of 21st or better in four starts this season, having missed the season's first month after cutting his finger on a piece of coral before the Tournament of Champions. The Aussie ended Tiger Woods' reign at the Blue Monster in 2008.