PINEHURST, N.C. – Martin Kaymer is no stranger to hot starts, but his round Thursday at Pinehurst No. 2 reached uncharted territory.
Kaymer tied a course record at TPC Sawgrass with an opening 63 last month en route to winning The Players Championship, and the German fired a 5-under 65 to build a three-shot lead after the first round of the U.S. Open.
“The golf course, I thought, played a little more difficult on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday,” Kaymer said. “They must have put a little more water on the greens last night. I thought it was very playable.”
Kaymer’s round is the lowest ever shot during a U.S. Open at Pinehurst, breaking a record previously held by Peter Hedblom, who shot a 4-under 66 en route to a tie for 11th in 2005.
A total of 15 players broke par during the opening round, in line with the first-round scoring in each of the prior two U.S. Opens held at Pinehurst. In 1999, 23 players started in red figures with four sharing the lead after 67s, including Phil Mickelson, while in 2005, only nine players broke par, with Rocco Mediate and Olin Browne sharing the lead at 3 under.