Friday, June 13

Martin Kaymer Is Field of One

Martin Kaymer is dialed in. (©USGA/Darren Carroll)
MARTIN KAYMER MUST HAVE LIKED SLEEPING on a 3-shot lead Thursday night, because he came out early on Friday morning and picked up where he left off. Five hours later Kaymer turned in another 5-under-par round. His 65-65 for a total of 130 after 36 holes is a U.S. Open record.

When asked about doing what no one else had accomplished in 113 previous U.S. Opens, Kaymer was matter of fact, as if his historic play had not registered with him.

"Somebody has to do it at one stage," he said about establishing a new scoring standard.

Kaymer is known for his soft-spoken demeanor. He quietly expresses confidence in his play, but is far from cocky.

"I didn't make many mistakes today," he said about a round that included five birdies. Kaymer has stockpiled 11 birdies in the first two rounds.

When pressed to say more about his second round and record-breaking start, the former world No. 1 called it "very very satisfying" and said the quality of some of his shots has been surprising. "[I'm] just hitting the ball very solid."

The 2010 PGA champion and winner of this season's Players Championship departed at 8:02 a.m. with Keegan Bradley and Jason Dufner. He promptly birdied the par-5 10th, the group's first hole, and picked up two more birdies to fire a 3-under 32. Kaymer then added birdies on holes 3 and 5. He had no bogeys on Friday's scorecard, and only one through the first two rounds, which is hard to fathom on a brutally tough Pinehurst layout.

Kaymer is alone, a field of one, on a golf course that makes the other 150-plus golfers look like they're playing in the U.S. Open. One of those other golfers is Bradley, who played with Kaymer the first two days and is 2 under for the championship after a pair of 69s.

"It's fun to watch," Bradley said about the Kaymer display. "If you can hit the fairway, you can score out here....He's dialed in. He's very steady."

Still, Bradley likes his position and said "[Kaymer] doesn't change anything I do."

There are 36 holes to play. A lot can happen. "There's a double on every hole," Bradley said about the potential for trouble on No. 2.

Steve Stricker called Kaymer's 10-under total "crazy" but also felt that the tournament is not over.

"There's still a long way to go," Stricker said. "He has a lot of things to battle."

But for now Kaymer can rest and enjoy a titanic lead and a spot in the record books.

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