You Oughta Know: Kaymer could join elite company


PINEHURST, N.C. – With 18 holes to go in the 114th U.S. Open, Martin Kaymer appears to have one hand firmly wrapped around the trophy. Here’s what You Oughta Know heading into the final round at Pinehurst, where Kaymer leads by five shots:

• After winning the PGA Championship in 2010 and The Players Championship last month, Kaymer is in position to join a rather elite list should he go on to win Sunday. The only players with a PGA, U.S. Open and Players title to their credit are Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Raymond Floyd and Lee Trevino.

• Kaymer would become the first player to ever win the Players and the U.S. Open in the same year. Three  other men have won majors as reigning Players champions: Tiger Woods (2002 Masters), Hal Sutton (1983 PGA) and Jack Nicklaus (1975 Masters, 1978 Open Championship)

• Kaymer is in position to become the fourth European to win the U.S. Open since 2010, but he would become the first player from continental Europe to ever win the tournament.

• Kaymer’s win at TPC Sawgrass came on Mother’s Day, and if he wins Sunday he would become the first player to win on both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day since Tom Kite pulled off the unlikely combination in 1992.

• While Kaymer’s lead appears nearly insurmountable, it’s not exactly a done deal. A total of five players have blown a five-shot lead through 54 holes at a major, most recently Jean Van de Velde at the 1999 Open Championship, while Greg Norman forfeited a six-shot, final-round advantage at the 1996 Masters.

Rickie Fowler will play alongside Kaymer Sunday after a third-round 67. Fowler, who tied for 10th at last year’s U.S. Open and tied for fifth at the Masters in April, is the only player in the field this week with three rounds of par or better.

Erik Compton missed the cut at the 2010 U.S. Open in his only prior major championship start, but he will begin the final round in a tie for second, five shots behind Kaymer. Compton’s best finish on the PGA Tour this season is a tie for fifth, which he achieved at both the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

• World No. 2 Henrik Stenson will begin the final round in a tie for fourth and, while a win seems unlikely, he could trim the gap between himself and No. 1 Adam Scott in the world rankings with a high finish. Stenson has only one prior top-10 finish at the U.S. Open, a ninth-place showing at Bethpage Black in 2009.

(Note: Stats and information provided by Golf Channel Editorial Research Unit.)