Martin Kaymer went to wire-to-wire and blasted the field to win the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C. He finished the week on nine-under-par, 271, to lap the field by a whopping eight shots. Only two other players broke par on the week as Americans Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton shared second place on one-under, 279. Kaymer now has two major championships to his name in his 20s as he adds this week’s title to his 2010 PGA Championship.
Heck, while we’re at it, his only TOUR wins are big money paydays. On top of his PGA title he won the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2011. Earlier that year he was second in the WGC-Match Play. All he did in 2012 was play terrible golf all spring but he still holed the clinching putt for the Europeans at the Ryder Cup. In 2013, he only had three top 10s but two of them were at WGC events. And in 2014 he’s won on Mother’s Day at THE PLAYERS and on Father’s Day at the U.S. Open. That’s two more really, really nice paydays.
Martin Kaymer began his week going where nobody had ever gone at Pinehurst No. 2as he opened with five-under 65 to lead by three. Just to make everyone aware that this was NOT a fluke, he went out on Friday and did it again. So, after never seeing 65 on No. 2, the SAME GUY did it in back-to-back days.
That’s never happened before.
That’s quite amazing especially for a guy who hadn’t had another top 10 in any major since his 2010 PGA title.
As the weekend rolled in and expectations flew through the roof, the German completely ruined everyone’s expectations as he did NOT fall apart on a very challenging Saturday afternoon. He took the crooked numbers out of the way because he made just about everything he looked at over four rounds. It also didn’t hurt that the TOUR’S No. 178th scrambler decided to putt everything that didn’t find the green. #TexasWedgeGermanStyle. His system worked and so did his putter. Entering the week, few would argue whether or not Kaymer could be considered an elite ball striker. His record speaks for itself. But to have the guy who ranked No. 178 in scrambling and No. 122 in total putting just destroy this track was unfathomable.
Making one bogey over the first 36 holes was unfathomable as well.
He only made eight bogeys on the week and didn’t let anyone even pretend that they could overtake his lead. It began as five shots on Sunday and he never looked back as he put it on auto-pilot and cruised home to victory for the second time this season on TOUR. Kaymer also went wire-to-wire (one round T1) at THE PLAYERS back in May.
Kaymer has seen plenty of highs and plenty of lows in the last four years but part of me keeps forgetting that he’s only 29. Not many players since 1970 have won two majors before turning 30 as Dan and the gang told us on NBC Sunday afternoon. He’s one of them. So is John Daly. So is Rory McIlroy. So was Seve Ballesteros and Tom Watson.
For season-long investors who jumped all over a guy who made only $882, 937 last year, he’s been the German Bubba Watson. For the weekly gamer, he was trending in the right direction before his win at THE PLAYERS but he only had played once on TOUR since that May victory so it’s not surprising if he snuck by you this week. He snuck by me because I put too much emphasis on his short-game numbers or lack of them. I felt if No. 2 played firm and fast and the greens wouldn’t hold, he would have struggled to grind out pars. He smartly took his wedge, nine iron, 3-wood, etc. out of the equation when off the green.. What a decision that turned out to be!
With his victory, Kaymer collects $1,620,000, 600 FedExCup points and is exempt into the U.S. Open for the next 10 years. He also is exempt into the other three majors for the next five years. He adds a five-year TOUR exemption as well. #cha-ching
Déjà vu All Over Again?
After winning 31 of 40 tournaments in 2013, the USA has now won 22 of 31 events in 2013-14. Harris English, Jimmy Walker (THREE), Webb Simpson, Ryan Moore, Dustin Johnson, Chris Kirk, Zach Johnson, Patrick Reed (TWO), Scott Stallings, Kevin Stadler, Bubba Watson (TWO), Russell Henley, Chesson Hadley, Matt Every, Matt Kuchar, J.B. Holmes, Brendon Todd and Ben Crane have won for the USA.
Adam Scott, Matt Jones, Steven Bowditch, John Senden and Jason Day, all Australians, have cashed five victories. Matsuyama joins Seung-yul Noh as the Asian representatives and Martin Kaymer has been a one-man-gang for Europe with his two massive victories.
S.Y. Noh, Steven Bowditch, Matt Every, Jimmy Walker, Kevin Stadler, Chesson Hadley Matt Jones, Brendon Todd and Matsuyama are the first-time winners this season. There were 12, first-timers in 40 events last year and we’ve had nine in 30 events so far in 2014. #onpace Erik Compton gave it a shot but nobody was catching the German this week.
Only 17 of the 38, 54-hole leaders went on to win last year in full-field, stroke play events. I’m always trying to figure out if this is a trend or not. In 2013-14, 17 of 30 leaders have gone on to win as Kaymer has added to this total TWICE this spring.
Matthew Fitzpatrick was the only amateur to make the cut (T48) so John Goodman remains the last amateur to win (1933). He shot 69 on Sunday and will be turning pro any day now.
Curtis Strange remains the last player to defend his title as 2013 champ Justin Rose fought gallantly but ended up T12.
Kaymer becomes just the seventh player to go wire-to-wire (no ties) in 114 editions. Rory McIlroy was the last to perform this feat at Congressional in 2011.
Only Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Kaymer can say they’ve won a major, WGC event and PLAYERS championship. Kaymer, Woods and Mickelson have multiple majors. Adam Scott has the charm and good looks so all is not lost.
Jimmy Walker, Patrick Reed and Bubba Watson were the only players on TOUR with multiple wins this season. Kaymer becomes the newest member of this club.
Bernhard Langer (Masters, twice) is the only other German to win a major.
Kaymer is the only player in history to win THE PLAYERS and the U.S. Open in the same. #exacta
He is only one of four players that have won THE PLAYERS and ANY major in the same season. Jack Nicklaus (1978 Open), Hal Sutton (1983 PGA) and Tiger Woods (2001 Masters) are the other three.
The last player to win multiple majors in one season was Padraig Harrington in 2008.
The Bubba Slam is also off the tracks as the Masters champ MC.
Remember this for next year: Eight of the last 11 winners of the United States national championship have been foreign born.
Young Guns Versus Prime Time Versus Old Guys
Jimmy Walker (34) started the season out on the right foot for the Prime Time guys and has since added two more wins to lead the FedExCup standings. He has been joined by Ryan Moore (30) in Malaysia, Zach Johnson (37) at Kapalua, Kevin Stadler (33), at WMPO and Bubba Watson (35), joined them at Riviera. Matt Every (30), Steven Bowditch (30) and Matt Jones (33), all first-timers, flew the flag before Watson picked up victory No. 2 of the year at Augusta. Since the first major, Matt Kuchar (37), J.B. Holmes (32), Adam Scott (33) and now Crane, 38, add to the prime-timers trophy case.
Scott Stallings (28), Patrick Reed TWICE (23), Chris Kirk (28), Webb Simpson (28), Dustin Johnson (29), Harris English (24), Jason Day (26) and Russell Henley (24) Seung-Yul Noh (22), Martin Kaymer TWICE (29), Brendon Todd, 28 and Matsuyama (22), are the twenty-somethings who have made large noise this year.
Australian John Senden, 42, won at Tampa Bay for the only W for the “Old Guys” this season. Jim Furyk is having a great season without winning. He bags another top finish this week with T12 to lead the old folks.