Martin Kaymer capped off a fantastic week with a composed final round to stroll to victory in the 114th US Open at Pinehurst
Martin Kaymer capped off a fantastic week with a composed final round to stroll to victory in the 114th US Open at Pinehurst.
The German shot a Sunday 69 to finish 8 shots clear of Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton, a winning margin that reflected his sheer dominance over the four days.
He opened with consecutive rounds of 65 – a major record – and shot a third-round 72 in testing conditions to head into the final round with a five-shot lead.
The last person to relinquish a five-shot 54-hole US Open lead was Mike Brady in 1919, and Kaymer had no intention of breaking a 95-year-old record.
He parred the first two holes before driving the green of the par-4 3rd and two-putting for birdie.
He failed to birdie the reachable par-5 5th and dropped his first shot of the day at the next hole, but a towering tee shot on the par-3 9th set up a birdie and saw him reach the turn in level-par 35.
There were high hopes for the likes of Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Brandt Snedeker heading into the final round, but no one came close to troubling Kaymer – a product of the large 54-hole deficit and the difficulty of the golf course.
Fowler’s challenge effectively ended after a double at the tough 4th, Snedeker fell over par early in the round and Johnson and Stenson simply couldn’t pick up any momentum.
Perhaps unexpectedly, the best challenge came from Compton, but he could only reach four-under-par before back-to-back bogeys from the 11th.
As such, Kaymer was able to play a conservative game on the back nine, and offset a sloppy bogey at the par-5 10th with a fine three at the 13th.
From there, he sauntered towards the clubhouse with consumate ease, shutting out his nearest challengers with some fine ball striking and a magnificent touch on and around the greens.
He birdied 13 and 14 to put himself completely out of sight, and bogeys at 16 and 18 only served to reduce a huge winning margin.
Fowler and Compton – the only other two players under par – shared second, with Johnson, Stenson, Keegan Bradley, Jason Day and Brooks Koepka in a tie for fourth on one-over.
In truth, those in the chasing pack needed a good deal of help from Kaymer to be in with any chance, something that simply didn’t materialise. Kaymer was utterly dominant all week and no one came close to touching him.
The former world number one – who won the 2010 PGA Championship on a course with many parallels to Pinehurst – has now added a second major title to his armoury, and secured a place on Paul McGinley’s Ryder Cup team.