Kaymer's 72 good enough for 5-shot lead at Pinehurst

By Doug FergusonJune 14, 2014, 11:52 pm

PINEHURST, N.C. – Not even Martin Kaymer was immune from a Pinehurst No. 2 course that restored the reputation of a U.S. Open.

He threw enough counterpunches Saturday to leave him on the cusp of his second major.

On a broiling day with some wicked pin positions that yielded only two rounds under par, Kaymer rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to salvage a 2-over 72 and take a five-shot lead into the final round.

Only one player in U.S. Open history has lost a five-shot lead in the final round, and that was 95 years go.

''I didn't play as well as the first two days, but I kept it together,'' Kaymer said.

That was all that was required on a day when the U.S. Open finally looked like the toughest test in golf. Kaymer hit a 7-iron from the sandy area left of the fairway on the par-5 fifth hole to set up a 5-foot eagle putt, and his birdie on the final hole put him at 8-under 202.

Only the names of challengers changed, but they were sure to stir up the crowd - and the emotions.

Erik Compton, a two-time heart transplant recipient and perhaps the most remarkable story on the PGA Tour, rolled in a 40-foot putt on the 11th hole for one of his six birdies in a round of 67. He was tied at 3-under 207 with Rickie Fowler, a fan favorite of young American golf fans, who also had a 67.

Fowler will play in the final group of a major for the first time.

Only six players remained under par, and considering no one has come from more than seven shots behind in the final round to win a U.S. Open, they might be the only ones left with a realistic chance to catch the 29-year-old German.

Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson each shot 70 and were at 2-under 208. Brandt Snedeker had a 72 and was another shot behind.

Asked how much that birdie mattered on the 18th hole, Kaymer said, ''One shot.''

''If you're four shots, five shots, six shots, if you play a golf course like this, it can be gone very quickly,'' he said. ''You could see it today. So the challenge tomorrow is to keep going and not try to defend anything. So we'll see how it will react tomorrow, how the body feels and how I handle the situation.''


U.S. Open: Articles, videos and photos

U.S. Open full-field scores


Kaymer had his way with a softer, more gentle Pinehurst No. 2 by becoming the first player to open with 65s to set the 36-hole record at 10-under 130. Some players wondered what tournament he was playing.

There was no doubt what it was on Saturday.

''They've set it up so that no one can go low,'' Retief Goosen said after a 71. ''Some of the pins look like they're about to fall off the greens.''

Toru Taniguchi shot an 88. Brendon Todd, playing in the final group with Kaymer, had a 79.

Phil Mickelson had a 73 and was 13 shots out of the lead. He'll have to wait until next year to pursue the only major keeping him from the career Grand Slam. Adam Scott, the world No. 1, made bogey on all but one of the par 3s and was 11 shots behind.

Kaymer nearly joined the parade of players going the wrong direction.

He ended an amazing streak of 29 holes without a bogey by failing to get up-and-down from short of the second green. Trouble really was brewing on the fourth hole, when he pulled his tee shot into the trees and couldn't play his next shot.

The ball settled in a washed-out section of sand, next to a 6-inch pile of pine straw. He took a one-shot penalty only after learning he could move the pine straw as loose impediments before he took his drop.

''It's all loose. How should I know what's not loose,'' he asked USGA President Tom O'Toole.

He punched out to the fairway and holed a 15-foot putt to escape with bogey. In the sandy area again on the next hole, Kaymer ripped a 7-iron from 202 yards that caught the front portion of the green and stopped pin-high for his eagle.

His long birdie putt on the par-3 sixth rolled off the back of the green for another bogey, and Kaymer dropped two more shots with three-putt bogeys, one of them from just off the green at No. 15. He also saved par with two putts from off the green, and the birdie was big.

Mike Brady is the only other player to lose a five-shot lead. That was in 1919 at Brae Burn Country Club in Massachusetts. He shot 80 in the last round, and Walter Hagen beat him the next day in a playoff.

Compton has never won on the PGA Tour, though just playing is a victory for a guy on his third heart. Compton had a heart attack and drove himself to the hospital before his most recent transplant seven years ago.

''I think that my attitude suits a U.S. Open-style course because I don't ever give up,'' Compton said.

Compton, Brendon de Jonge and Kevin Na were the only players to reach 4-under par in their pursuit of Kaymer. Only Compton managed to stay close. De Jonge bogeyed four of his last seven holes, while Na took two double bogeys in the last five holes.

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

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Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73


Cart on the green


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Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open


Trump golf properties

Vandalism

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Finances


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

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Reportedly fake TIME covers


Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover


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Pros comment on the president

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.