German engineering has been at the forefront of automobiles for quite some time. Martin Kaymer, a former world #1 player, has demonstrated through the first two rounds of the Men’s US Open at Pinehurst #2 his gears are working even better than any top tier Mercedes-Benz ever could.
The 29-year-old German broke the 36-hole record of 131 shared by Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in firing two consecutive rounds of five-under-par 65. No one has ever started a major championship with back-to-back rounds with that number. Kaymer also tied with Woods and McIlroy the record for the most strokes ahead after 36-holes — six.
The thoroughness of his play has been nearly perfect — only two bogeys in the championship and only one made over the last 23 holes of play.
Kaymer ascended to the top of world ranking for an eight-week period several months after winning the 2010 PGA Championship. Many figured his time at the top of the golfing mountain would be brief. Clearly, he has made other plans. In 2014 Kaymer recently won the PGA Tour’s flagship event — holding on to win The Players Championship. In that event he played brilliantly for nearly four days before a minor hiccup near the end nearly cost him the title.
No question the final 36-holes will show if the German can do what no other countrymen or even European Continent competitor has done — win the US Open title.
If not for Kaymer’s stellar play the remaining two rounds this weekend would be an interesting event as a number of players — both known and lesser types — have grouped themselves close together. But, at this point, they are nothing more than a footnote at best.
Kaymer faces the hurdle in doing what he had to overcome when winning The Players event — being center stage with the lead can be a demanding task — both physically and mentally. When Woods and McIlroy won the 2000 and 2011 Opens — they easily cruised to victories leading each day. Saturday’s 3rd round can send a defining signal and Kaymer will be the sole reason to provide hope or simply make this event one in which he joins another elite grouping — adding his name to the seven other players have led each day for the full 72-holes.
M. James Ward, a member of Golf Writer’s Association of America (GWAA) and past member of Met Golf Writer’s Association (MGWA), has reported on golf’s grandest events since 1980 in a variety of forums.