(CNN) -- German golfer Martin Kaymer reflected on a "fantastic year" after taking home a $1.45 million bonus for topping the European Tour money list, having tied for 13th place at the Dubai World Championship on Sunday.
The 25-year-old took his season earnings to a record $5.9 million as he finished eight shots behind winner Robert Karlsson, Europe's No. 1 two years ago -- who beat Ian Poulter at the second hole of a playoff to earn $1.2 million.
Kaymer, only the second German to end the year at the top following Bernhard Langer in 1981 and 1984, finished the tournament level with his main rival for the Race To Dubai title, U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell.
His success as clinched with one hole to play, when his Ryder Cup teammate McDowell signed for a four-under-par 68.
Kaymer, who won his first major this year at the U.S. PGA Championship, carded only 72 -- ending his hopes of the victory he needed to take Lee Westwood's world No. 1 ranking.
The Englishman, last year's European No. 1 after winning the season-ending event in Dubai, shot 68 to finish tied for third with Spain's Alvaro Quiros (67) just a shot away from making the playoff.
"It's been a fantastic year. All of the goals that I set for myself, for my career, everything happened this year," Kaymer told the European Tour website.
"To win the Race To Dubai, number one in Europe, and to play the Ryder Cup, and to win a major. And obviously when you win a major you know that you can win any tournament in the world.
"I am very proud. I am very satisfied with my year, and that round today, my goal was obviously to play as well as possible, to put 100 percent in there. And that is what I certainly did.
"It was not my best round of the week but I really enjoyed that week and I really enjoyed the last round that I played. As we walked up the 18th, the announcer was saying all the scores -- the PGA champion, currently number one in the Race To Dubai -- and it sounds pretty good to me. It's a very proud moment."
It was also a proud moment for the 41-year-old Karlsson, who moved up to sixth in the overall standings with earnings of $3 million as he put behind him a 2009 season blighted by a serious eye problem.
The Swede trailed last weekend's Hong Kong Open champion Poulter by three shots going to the final round, but forced a playoff against the Englishman.
He picked up four shots in the first three holes and birdied the last to shoot 67 for a total of 14-under 278.
Both players birdied the first extra hole and Karlsson did the same at the next, but Poulter fell 30 feet short of the pin after a poor sand wedge and then picked up a one-shot penalty for moving his marker when he dropped his ball on it.
"It was a strange day to say the least. To start birdie-birdie-eagle is not what you expect to happen when you are three behind," Karlsson said.
"Then there was the one-shot penalty. It's not the way you want to win, but these things happen in golf. It's a fantastic field, and obviously when we have all of the best players in Europe together, the way it looks now, it's going to be a great field - so to win here is fantastic."
Poulter took home $800,000 for season earnings of $4 million, leaving him fourth overall behind Westwood ($4.27 million).
Another Ryder Cup winner, Italy's Francesco Molinari, was fifth on $3.7 million after a final round of 71 left him tied for sixth with England's Paul Casey on 277.
Northern Ireland's 21-year-old Rory McIlroy, second in last year's standings before deciding to focus on the U.S. PGA Tour this year, was fifth on 276 after a 67.