Martin Kaymer, 29, of Germany, is 10-under par with a six-stroke lead halfway through the U.S. Open.
“It is unbelievable what Kaymer is doing right now,” said Aaron Rodeffer, head coach at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. “To shoot a 65-65 on the first two days is crazy. He is having no problem at all with that golf course.”
The U.S. Open is being played at the Pinehurst No. 2 course in Pinehurst, N.C.
UMHB played Pinehurst No. 3 earlier this spring, just before participating in the NCAA tournament.
“We had the opportunity to take a look at Pinehurst No. 2 and the course looked very manicured,” Rodeffer said. “But now, you’re seeing a different course — unkempt roughs, non-edged bunkers. It doesn’t look finished, polished. The look, overall, is a little unkempt. They’re putting a premium on keeping it in the fairway.”
Currently, 13 players are sitting under par.
“That’s a lot of guys under par,” Rodeffer said. “In the past U.S. Open tourneys, if you were at par, you had a chance. The cut was at plus-5. Most years, 5-over or 6-over would keep you well within the cutline. Kaymer is in a zone, one of those grooves that the great ones get into. Right now, he feels like he can make everything.”
Ty Brown coached the Salado High School boys team to the 2014 state championship. Brown’s Lady Eagles finished runner-up at state.
“Martin Kaymer is smart, resilient, and mentally tough,” Brown said. “But I don’t think that anyone saw this coming, including him. He was, at one time, the No. 1 player in the world (Feb. 2011) and he’s won a major (2010 PGA), so everyone knows he’s skilled. But the USGA likes the Open scores to be even or 1-under, or 2-under. To be 10-under after two days is not common at all. Kaymer is making this all look so easy.”
Brown credits Kaymer for a strategic move.
“He went back to the fade, his normal shot,” Brown said. “He’s comfortable that way and that’s what he did when he was playing his best.”
Brendon Todd is in second place at 4-under. Kevin Na and Brandt Snedeker are tied for third place at 3-under.
“You know the USGA is not real thrilled right now,” said David Smoak, Program Director/Radio Talk Show Host of ESPN Central Texas. “I’ve never seen anyone overwhelm a golf course in the U.S. Open as much as Kaymer is doing to this course right now. So they’ll toughen up this course a bit.
“I won’t say it’s an automatic win yet. But I think it would take an absolute meltdown for Kaymer not to win it. He has been unconscious.”
“There is so much pressure in a U.S. Open,” Rodeffer said. “Being a major, it’s one of the four biggest tournaments of the year. So I think it will be very interesting to see what Kaymer can put together in the final two rounds.”