Kaymer surges ahead
Martin Kaymer produced a dazzling display to lead by three shots after the first round of the US Open at Pinehurst No.2.
Kaymer posted the lowest round ever at Pinehurst during a US Open with a five under 65. A late run on the back nine catapulted the German up the leaderboard, which at one stage wasn’t big enough to accommodate all the leaders.
The man from Dusseldorf made a strong start and was two under through five holes. A bogey on the par four seventh would set him back, but Kaymer’s best golf was still to come.
A birdie at the tenth would see him move into share of the lead, then another on the 14th would be enough for him to grab the lead outright. Back to back birdies on the 16th and 17th cemented his place at the top. Kaymer then rolled in a lengthy putt to save par on the 18th and post a record score.
“I’m not freaking out about it,” said the 29-year-old.
“It was kind of like an opening for me. It really changed things. It’s a big, big relief that now you can start playing golf again and don’t need to think too much.
Kaymer ended his win drought when won the Players Championship in May. He believes the win lifted a huge weight off his shoulders.
“The Players gave me a different status as a golf professional, a lot of respect from people, from the players, a lot of satisfaction for myself.”
“It’s all about the confidence. When you hit those good shots, it adds a lot of confidence. No one really should expect me to shoot another five-under par the next three rounds. I don’t.”
Three shots back is a group of four players, including Graeme McDowell. The 2010 US Open champion bogeyed the fourth, but bounced back with a fantastic eagle on the par five fifth. A sole birdie on the back nine would be enough to leave him tied for second.
“I played the golf course very conservatively, ” revealed the Northern Irishman, who is tied on two under with American duo Kevin Na and Fran Quinn, along with Zimbabwe’s Brendon De Jonge.
Despite being three shots ahead of him, McDowell then sang fellow Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy’s praises.
“Rory played magnificently this morning,” said the 34-year-old of his playing partner.
“He hit some beautiful golf shots. I’d like to play like that some time, but it’s never going to happen. It wasn’t my best ball-striking display this morning, but you don’t have to strike it amazing around here.
“You just have to position the ball correctly at all times, unless you’re Rory McIlroy; the ball-striking display he put on this morning, that’s about the only way you can attack this course.”
Meanwhile, defending champion Justin Rose eased around the tough course to card a two over 72, which he was content with.
Golfers warned of further sanctions if they continue to play in LIV breakaway
The DP World Tour has issued fines of £100,000 and tournament bans to its members who played in the inaugural LIV Golf event earlier this month
DP World Tour hits members who played inaugural LIV series with £100,000 fines
They have also been banned from several forthcoming tournaments including the Scottish Open.
Rory McIlroy not impressed as Brooks Koepka becomes latest big name to join LIV
The world number two labelled the players who have joined the new series as “duplicitous” for the way they have handled their breakaway.
R&A confirms LIV Golf Series players will be allowed to compete at Open
The 150th Open Championship will get underway at St Andrews in three weeks’ time.
Matt Fitzpatrick turns to other major winners for advice on dealing with fame
Fitzpatrick won the US Open on Sunday.
Brooks Koepka set to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series
Koepka’s brother Chase played in the opening event at Centurion Club earlier this month.
Gary Player urges Matt Fitzpatrick to avoid ‘poison’ of modern-day coaching
Player tells US Open champion Fitzpatrick to learn from mistakes of recent major winners, saying: “The teaching today is the worst it has ever been.”
Matt Fitzpatrick’s caddie Billy Foster ready for ‘long party’ after US Open win
Foster won his first major after a 40-year career which includes spells working for the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke.
Matt Fitzpatrick backed to become a dominant force after winning first major
The Englishman claimed his first major title at Brookline.
Matt Fitzpatrick: A Blade with plenty of support who can really cut it
The Sheffield golfer landed his first major – and first professional win in America – at Brookline on Sunday.