Martin Kaymer (left) celebrates with caddie Craig Connolly after making a birdie on the 16th hole during the first round of the 2014 U.S. Open golf tournament at Pinehurst Resort Country Club - #2 Course. (Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports)
Kaymer sizzles, takes three-shot U.S. Open lead
The treacherous crowned greens were uncharacteristically soft and receptive after the USGA gave them enough water to make them softer than they’d been the previous three days.
But then came Martin Kaymer, the winner of last month’s Players Championship. The German was 4 under on the back nine, including back-to-back birdies on the tough 16th and 17th holes to finish at 5 under 65 and take a three-shot lead over former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, Kevin Na and Brendon De Jonge.
Defending U.S. Open champion Justin Rose was tied for 50th at 2 over. Masters champion Bubba Watson was tied for 122nd after a 6-over 76. “The golf course is better than me right now,” Watson said.