PINEHURST, N.C. – Martin Kaymer shot a 65 in the second round of the U.S. Open, matching his first-round score, and giving him the two best rounds ever played at an Open at Pinehurst No. 2.
He took a six-shot lead over Brendon Todd.
He awed even some of his big-name competitors.
He may have won the U.S. Open before the cut was even made.
“If Martin goes out and plays steady golf, I think we all just tip our hat and say that’s awesome playing,” said Matt Kuchar, who is nine shots off Kaymer’s 10-under total.
“He’s playing a different course than the rest of us,” said Kevin Na, who is seven back.
Even Rory McIlroy, who set the U.S. Open record of 16 under par at Congressional in 2011, did a little early hat-tipping.
“I think what Martin is doing is more impressive than what I did at Congressional,” said McIlroy, who is nine shots back. “Because on this course, there’s trouble on the way to every green.”
Kaymer’s two-round total of 130 is an Open record. Only five players ever have reached double digits under par at a U.S. Open. Only two, Tiger Woods and McIlroy, have finished a U.S. Open at 10 under or better. Only McIlroy, before Kaymer, had reached 10 under or better before the weekend at a U.S. Open.
According to the Golf Channel, since World War II, only one player has blown a 36-hole lead of four shots or more at a major — Bobby Clampett in the 1982 U.S. Open.
Kaymer won the PGA Championship in 2010. He rose to No. 1 in the world in 2011. He changed his swing. He fell from No. 1 to 60-something before rebounding this season to win the Players Championship, and dominate the first two rounds of the U.S. Open.
“The way I play golf now is just really satisfying,” he said. “It’s just very good golf.”
Later, he said, “It gets boring, the words that I use.”
Boring as a one-man parade.
“He’s playing a different golf course than the rest of us,” said former Gopher Donald Constable, agreeing with Na. “That’s impressive. Some magazine wrote an article saying someone could shoot 10 under this week, and we were sitting around before the tournament saying, “No prayer, nobody’s going to shoot that. And he did it in two days.
“It’s impressive, but it’s an Open. Anything can happen. You can give shots back real quick here. You can tumble into a big mess.”
Sixty-six golfers hope that’s a possibility.