Martin Kaymer has left the field at the 114th U.S. Open shaking their heads. He shot consecutive 65s (the only 65s ever shot at the three U.S. Opens at Pinehurst No. 2), and set the record for the lowest 36-hole total at a U.S. Open, 130.
It rained about an inch last night, which kept the course from firming up, but the USGA compensated with tougher hole locations. However, Kaymer was one of the few players who wasn’t affected by the difficult course set up. He started his round on the back nine with birdies on 10, 13, and 16. After making the turn, he continued to put his foot on the gas with birdies on 3 and 5, and secured a bogeyless round with sand saves on 6 and 7.
The 29-year-old said he wasn’t expecting to shoot as well as he has over the first two rounds, but he is hitting great shots and the rain has helped soften the course. Kaymer is one of six total players to ever reach 10-under par or better in a U.S. Open (Gil Morgan 1992, Tiger Woods 2000, Jim Furyk 2003, Ricky Barnes 2009, Rory McIlroy 2011).
Rory McIlroy set the U.S. Open scoring record (-16) at the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional, and Kaymer had an interesting observation about being on the other side of a dominant performance, “Well, I mean obviously I played Congressional and I thought, I mean how can you shoot that low? And that’s probably what a lot of other people think about me right now.”
He added that he looks forward to speaking to Rory about the experience, “But it will be quite interesting to talk to Rory about it, how he felt. It’s not like we play different golf course or easier golf courses, it’s just, I’m sure he must have played so solid without making many mistakes and that I think is the main thing in majors, that you avoid the big numbers. And today I didn’t make any mistakes. I didn’t make any bogeys. So therefore, if you putt well, you can make up some ground, or in my case today I could keep going.“
Kaymer has only one bogey over the first 36-holes, but he knows a tough stretch is coming, “Obviously, you can have a day where you don’t swing it as good as the day before, everybody has that, and it’s very, very difficult to play four rounds of great golf. I’m sure there is going to be a day here and there where you struggle.”
“But then it becomes really important that you stay with it and accept a couple bogeys here and there, but that you don’t shoot yourself out of the tournament and don’t get mad at yourself and that you don’t compare. The comparing is, I think, the biggest mistake you can do, especially if you’re playing — obviously, last two rounds they were great and they were very exceptional, so comparing is never really good. So it’s important that you set new goals and challenge yourself on the golf course and keep playing. Because it’s fun to play for the U.S. Open under difficult circumstances.”
Keegan Bradley is at two-under after consecutive 69s, and he had fun watching Kaymer play, “Yeah, I played with Martin these first two days, he’s playing so good. It’s fun to watch. I played well as well, but it was fun watching him hit every fairway, every green and make every putt, it was pretty awesome.”
Kaymer has an opportunity to tie or break the record for the largest lead after 36-holes at a U.S. Open (6 strokes). He currently leads by 6 over Kevin Na.
2014 U.S. Open leaderboard.