Kaymer threatening to lap field at Open

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Friday, June 13, 2014

After firing a first-round 65 in the U.S. Open, Martin Kaymer said he didn't expect to do it again Friday.

He also predicted earlier in the week that a score of 8 over par would win the championship.

He's proving to be a much better golfer than he is a soothsayer.

Kaymer, 29, of Germany, did shoot another 5-under 65 at Pinehurst No. 2. He was at 10-under 130 at the midway point of the championship and held a six-shot lead going into the third round Saturday.

Kaymer became the sixth player to reach double digits under par in U.S. Open history and the first to do so after 36 holes. His six-shot cushion tied the record for the largest lead after two rounds, shared by Tiger Woods (2000) and Rory McIlroy (2011), both of whom went on to win.

Kaymer has made 11 birdies and has not made a bogey since the seventh hole Thursday.

“Again, I didn't make any mistakes today,” he said. “I got a little tight the last three or four holes but I made good up-and-downs. I didn't make many mistakes and it was nice that I never really got into some difficult positions from the rough.”

Kaymer played in the morning and held an eight-shot lead when he walked off the course.

But Brendon Todd, winner of the HP Byron Nelson Championship earlier this year, shot a 67 in the afternoon and moved into second place at 4-under 136.

Brandt Snedeker (68) and Kevin Na (69) were tied for third at 137.

Five players were eight shots back at 138: Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley, Brendon de Jonge and Henrik Stenson.

“You know, it's all right,” Koepka said of his position. “I guess that's the only way to say that. I've just got to take care of business. You never know what can happen. One shot out here, one bad shot, could cost you two (strokes), maybe three.

“So you're never too far out of it, I don't think, especially in a U.S. Open.”

Adam Scott, ranked No. 1 in the world, shot a 67 and was at 140.

Phil Mickelson struggled with his putter, shot a 73 and was at 143 — 13 shots off the pace and with little chance to win. He has a record six runner-up finishes in the U.S. Open and needs the title to complete the career Grand Slam.

Stricker 11 shots back

Edgerton native Steve Stricker shot a 71 and was at 141. He was only five shots out of second place but 11 off the lead.

“It's crazy,” Stricker said. “(Kaymer) came out of my side of the wave and other than him the scoring isn't that good. He's made 11 birdies? That's pretty good around here. There's still enough tricky holes that can jump up and get you. Obviously, it hasn't bothered him thus far. It's some pretty remarkable playing.”

Menomonee Falls native Mark Wilson shot a 76 and missed the cut at 146.

Kaymer won the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Last month, he won the Players Championship after opening with a 63.

He appears to be in total control of his game at Pinehurst.

“As a competitor it's pretty awesome to watch,” said Joe Ogilvie. “What Martin's doing out there, you just kind of hope it lasts. It's something to separate yourself from this type of field on this type of golf course.”

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