Martin Kaymer has set his sights on stealing a march in the Race to Dubai standings at this week's Portugal Masters.

The 26-year-old German is fifth on the list heading into the Vilamoura event but the first prize of 416,600 euros would give him chance to improve his position with the four players above him - Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Charl Schwartzel and Lee Westwood - taking the week off.

"My goal is to finish as high as possible, and the highest possible is to win, and I feel like I can win," he said.

"Otherwise I wouldn't have come here. It's a big tournament on the European Tour, and talking about the Race to Dubai, you can still make a lot of points at this tournament in order to move up a few spots."

The world number six, who finished 2010 as European number one, will be looking to secure a first European Tour title since January and knows he will have to go low.

"The golf course seems easy," said Kaymer, who was runner-up to Thomas Bjorn in the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre last month. "There's not a lot of rough, so I think people will see a lot of birdies."

The 2010 USPGA champion has positive memories of the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course, having opened with a 61 in 2007 before slipping into a tie for seventh.

"Everything really went my way," he recalled. "It was just a brilliant day in general. Obviously it's nice to remember."

As for his current form, Kaymer added: "I've been playing fine.

"I was happy with my play at St Andrews for the Alfred Dunhill [Links Championship]. It was a shame on Saturday when I made 36 putts on an easy golf course - I shot myself out of the tournament.

"I look forward to playing here, it's a big tournament. It would be nice to finish in the top three in the Race to Dubai at the end of the year.

"If you're a competitor and an athlete you want to finish as high as possible - you want to fight until the season is done.

"Then I have six weeks off where I can chill but before that I would like to put 100 per cent in and see if it works out."

Like Kaymer, defending champion Richard Green also has happy memories of the Algarve and will be basking in the glory of last year's triumph when he takes to the course this week.