(CNN) -- Germany's Martin Kaymer has been speaking about his rise to the top of the world golf rankings, despite losing the WGC-Accenture Match Play final to Luke Donald at the weekend.
The 26-year-old from Dusseldorf takes over as world number one from Lee Westwood, almost 25 years to the month since Bernhard Langer became the first player -- and only other German -- to head the newly-created rankings in April 1986.
Kaymer told the official European Tour website: "I definitely need some time to think about it and let it sink in.
"The good thing is next week I don't have a tournament, so maybe then I'll be able to appreciate what I've done.
"What I can say for sure is that it's an incredibly proud moment. Not only for me, but also for my family, for the people who have helped me, and obviously for Germany.
"To be only the second German after Bernhard Langer, who was my role model when I was growing up, is a very special feeling.
Kaymer continued: "When the ranking is published I'm definitely going to take a picture with my name at the top. It doesn't feel real to me at the moment, but maybe when I see it in writing then I'll start to believe I'm the best golfer in the world.
"Not many people can say they're the best player in the world at their sport, so I feel very honored and privileged."
Kaymer only turned professional in 2005, but his rapid rise to the top has been phenomenal.
Since winning his first European Tour tournament in Abu Dhabi in January 2008, Kaymer has gone on to lift eight more professional titles, including his first major success -- the 2010 U.S. PGA at Whistling Straits -- and two more victories in Abu Dhabi.
He also played a key role in Europe winning the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor last year and won the 2010 Race to Dubai as Europe's leading golfer.
Kaymer becomes only the 14th player, and sixth European, to become world number one and is the second youngest, behind Tiger Woods, to hold the honor.