US Open 2014 Martin Kaymer Leads 36 Holes
Posted at June 14, 2014
Martin Kaymer finds himself retracing the footsteps of great champions at the US Open as he leads by six after round two!
As extraordinary and sublime as the first two days have been for Martin Kaymer, these are not unprecented times for neither the US Open nor Martin Kaymer himself. Tiger Woods (2000) and Rory McIlroy (2011) each led the US Open by six strokes, the most ever, at the halfway stage; both of these second round leaders also proceeded to triumph by fifteen and eight stroke margins respectively. Kaymer, too, already knows exactly what it feels like to dominate one of the biggest events on the calendar from the very start - that opening round at TPC Sawgrass this year earned him a two shot advantage and a lead which he never once relinquished. What's more, Kaymer has led after 36 holes on seven occasions in his career - of which four resulted in a victory.
The Players Championship 2014 was a real defining moment in Kaymer's career. Having once assumed the World Number One spot shortly after winning his maiden major championship, several years were then spent in the shadow of his rivals whilst he reshaped his swing and only now would it appear that his hard work is paying dividends. Granted, he may have only just stumbled over the finishing line at the Players, but it was a display of steely determination and ice cool nerve which saw him take title in the twilight at Sawgrass.
It shouldn't really be a surprise that Martin Kaymer leads the way at Pinehurst either; the No. 2 course renovation by Coore and Crenshaw has created a testing track similar to that of Whistling Straits - which hosted Kaymer's only major victory in 2011. What is surprising, though, is the commanding nature of his second round lead. The changes to the course architecture has resulted in a distinct lack of rough and whilst everyone noted just how difficult the course would be to score low around, Kaymer has hardly put a foot wrong so far with just one blemishing bogey on Thursday. Remarkably, that was his only hole which was above a score of four - proving that the Hugo Boss ambassador's putter is repeating the kind of hot form which secured the Players back in May.
Luck was cited as a potentially decisive factor in this year's US Open championship outcome, but it is certainly not just luck which Martin Kaymer is relying on thus far. His 306 yard driving average on Friday and a T4 position in the putting ranks helps us begin to understand just why he has such a substantial lead at the halfway stage, a feat reminiscent of Tiger Woods back in 2000. Whilst he may only be T5 for Greens in Regulation (with just 11/18 on Thursday) - the single bogey during that round would suggest Kaymer is playing some seriously intelligent golf and his missed greens are being missed in the most favourable of positions. A quick nod here must go to his long-term caddie Craig Connelly, whose eye for the game is second to none and having worked closely with Kaymer through the trials and tribulations of a swing change, it is nice to see everything finally coming together at the right time for the duo.
How Martin Kaymer has been playing so far at the US Open is reminiscent of Tiger Woods fourteen years prior and, with the Pinehurst No. 2 course set to play even more difficult over the weekend, it is going to take a monumental effort for anyone to beat him to the US Open Championship title for 2014.