Martin Kaymer posted his second successive 65 to open up a six-shot lead heading into the third round of the 114th US Open at Pinehurst
Martin Kaymer posted his second successive 65 to open up a six-shot lead heading into the third round of the 114th US Open at Pinehurst.
The German has negotiated 36 holes in just 130 strokes, breaking the record of 131 set by Rory McIlroy en route to a maiden major victory at Congressional in 2011.
Astonishingly, he’s recorded a score of four or better on 35 of the 36 holes he’s played thus far.
Kaymer – who posted a 65 late on Thursday – made the most of the overnight rainfall, which softened up the course for Friday’s early starters.
He made a 4 at the 10th for the second consecutive day before further birdies at 13 and 16 – the longest par 4 in US Open history – saw him reach the turn in 32 shots.
After consolidating with two pars at 1 and 2, he birdied the short par-4 3rd, picked up another shot with the obligatory birdie at the stroke index-18 5th and parred home to set a daunting clubhouse target on 10-under-par.
Kaymer enjoyed an eight-shot lead over playing partner Keegan Bradley (69), Brendon de Jonge (70), Dustin Johnson (69) and Brooks Koepka (68) for the next couple of hours, and those in the afternoon wave – seemingly struggling with the pressure exuded as a result of Kaymer’s dominance – were only able to make minimal inroads into his lead.
Little-known Brendon Todd – who secured his maiden PGA Tour victory at the Byron Nelson Championship earlier this season – was the best of the late starters, carding an impressive 67 to reach four under.
Americans Kevin Na and Brandt Snedeker share third place on three under, with like likes of Bradley, Johnson and Henrik Stenson a shot further back.
McIlroy shot a two-under-par 68 to sit in a tie for 10th on one under – 9 shots off the lead – with world number one Adam Scott level par after 36 holes.
Away from the leaders, US Amateur Champion Matt Fitzpatrick – playing alongside Justin Rose (+1) and Phil Mickelson (+3) – produced a fine display in esteemed company to qualify for the wekend on three-over-par.
But they’re all chasing a Kaymer in inspired form and, rather ominously, no 36-hole leader has blown a lead of more than four shots heading into the weekend at the US Open.