Martin Kaymer was so dominant in the flagship events of the PGA Tour and the U.S. Golf Association that the Royal & Ancient GC is considering awarding him the first- and second-round lead at the British Open.
Well, maybe not, but Kaymer’s performances at the Players and the U.S. Open were truly dominant. He became the first player to win both events in the same year, and he did so while leading after every round (he only shared the lead once, after three rounds at the Players with Jordan Spieth).
Wire-to-wire winners in the U.S. Open (no ties)
|2014||Martin Kaymer||Pinehurst No. 2|
|2002||Tiger Woods||Bethpage Black|
|2000||Tiger Woods||Pebble Beach|
|1970||Tony Jacklin||Hazeltine National|
Kaymer shot a final-round 69 at Pinehurst to finish at 9-under 271. He won by eight strokes, the fourth-largest margin of victory in tournament history. He became the first player in U.S. Open history to shoot two 65s in the same tournament, and the fifth player since 1970 to have two 65s or better in any U.S. Open. Kaymer, Keegan Bradley and Brendon Todd are the eighth, ninth and 10th players since 2000 to have three rounds in the 60s in the same U.S. Open.
Largest margin of victory in the U.S. Open
|15||Tiger Woods, 2000|
|11||Willie Smith, 1899|
|9||James Barnes, 1921|
|8||Martin Kaymer, 2014|
|8||Rory McIlroy, 2011|
Most 65s or better in the U.S. Open since 1970
|65s or better||Player||Years (round)|
|2||Martin Kaymer||2014 (rds. 1 and 2)|
|2||Colin Montgomerie||1994 (rd. 2), 1997 (rd. 1)|
|2||Lanny Wadkins||1973 (rd. 4), 1986 (rd. 4)|
|2||Tom Watson||1987 (rd. 2), 2003 (rd. 1)|
|2||Vijay Singh||2001 (rd. 4), 2003 (rd. 2)|
Most rounds in the 60s at the same U.S. Open: 2000-2014
Kaymer’s final-round 69 allowed him to finish at 9 under par, the third-lowest score in relation to par in U.S. Open history. Only Woods and McIlroy, during their historic performances earlier this century, were better. A tale of the tape shows that Kaymer hit more fairways than Rory and Tiger and matched Woods for fewest putts, but the German hit fewer greens and made fewer birdies than the others.
Lowest score in relation to par in U.S. Open history.
|16 under||Rory McIlroy, Congressional, 2011|
|12 under||Tiger Woods, Pebble Beach, 2000|
|9 under||Martin Kaymer, Pinehurst No. 2, 2014|
Comparison of Kaymer, McIlroy and Woods
|2014 Kaymer||2011 McIlroy||2000 Woods|
|To par||9 under||16 under||12 under|
|Margin of victory||8||8||15|
|Greens in reg.||45||62||51|
|*Includes one eagle||*Includes an eagle
and double bogey
Kaymer was seventh in the field in driving distance, T-9 in fairways hit, T-18 in greens and first in putts per GIR. Kaymer’s game from tee to green was so spot-on that he was one fairway hit away from becoming the first U.S. Open winner since the four stats began to be kept in 1986 to finish in the top 10 in all of them. Only five other winners were in the top 20 in all four stats.
U.S. Open champions who were in the top 20 the four major stats
|Year||Player||Distance rank||Fairways rank||GIR rank||Putting avg. rank|
It was a special week for Kaymer, but it was equally important to Erik Compton. The co-runner-up at the U.S. Open had his best finish on the PGA Tour. The second-place finish gets him into the Masters – which he didn’t know until he was being interviewed by NBC after his round - and likely puts him on the career path toward his first Tour victory. Since 1970 only six players have finished second at the U.S. Open and not won on the PGA Tour. Three of those golfers – Havret, Montgomerie and Jimenez - were not PGA Tour members.
U.S. Open runners-up since 1970 who never won on the PGA Tour
|2006, 1994||Colin Montgomerie|
|2000||Miguel Angel Jimenez|
It was also an impressive week for Rickie Fowler, who shared second with Compton. Clad in his trademark orange during the final round, Fowler shot a Sunday 72 to become the only player to finish in the top five in both the Masters and U.S. Open in 2014 (Jimmy Walker was the only player to finish in the top 10 in both events.) Fowler is the fourth player in the last five years to finish in the top five in both majors
Top-five finishes in the Masters and U.S. Open: 2010-2014