Published June 13, 2014
San Francisco, CA – Pinehurst, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Martin Kaymer apparently did not get the memo that the U.S. Open is supposed to be difficult.
After firing his second straight 5-under 65 on Friday, the German has a commanding 6-shot lead entering the final two rounds.
His 2-day total of 10-under 130 broke the championship's 36-hole record of 131 set by Rory McIlroy at Congressional in 2011. Like McIlroy that year, Kaymer is trying to complete a wire-to-wire victory.
"I hit some smart shots, I didn't play too aggressive and when I had a good number, I went for the flag and I didn't make many mistakes on the greens," Kaymer said about his first two rounds. "I didn't 3-putt, I made a lot of good putts today and yesterday."
If he continues to post 65s, Kaymer would smash the U.S. Open record by eight strokes.
Kaymer will most likely not have to keep up that torrid pace to win his second career major, however. Barring an historic implosion during the weekend, he will most likely have to just play at even-par over the next two days to cruise to the victory.
A prospect that would seem to be easy for a man who has made what is usually one of the toughest courses of the season like a stroll through a local golf club.
DEJA VU FOR WATSON
Bubba Watson followed his Masters victory in 2012 with a missed cut at the U.S. Open, and the same has happened to him this year as he failed to make the weekend by a two strokes.
Watson carded an even-par 70 on Friday, but he was essentially done in by a 76 on Thursday.
It was pretty much the same story in 2012, when Watson opened with a 78 before posting a 71 in the second round to miss the cut by a stroke.
He would go on to share 23rd place at the British Open and tie for 11th at the PGA Championship that year.
I'm sure Watson would like to improve on both of those results this time around.
FITZPATRICK CLAIMS LOW AMATEUR
Matthew Fitzpatrick locked up the low amateur award Friday as he was the lone amateur to make the cut.
The 2013 U.S. Amateur champion carded rounds of 71-73 to make the cut on the number at 4-over-par 144. Fitzpatrick was also the low amateur at last year's British Open.
An amateur has now made the cut at the U.S. Open in 15 of the last 17 years, but there has not been an amateur to win the championship since John Goodman in 1933.
It's pretty safe to say that drought will continue with Fitzpatrick 14 shots off Kaymer's pace.
* Sixty-seven players made the cut line at 5-over-par 145. The previous two times the U.S. Open was held at Pinehurst No. 2, the cut line fell at 7-over in 1999 and 8-over in 2005.
* The last amateur to finish inside the top 15 at the U.S. Open was Spencer Levin, who shared 13th place at Shinnecock Hills in 2004.
* Kaymer, Brendon Todd and Jason Day all posted bogey-free rounds on Friday after no one was able accomplish that during the first round.
* The par-3 sixth was the most difficult hole on Friday as players averaged 3.38 strokes. The hardest hole through the first two rounds was the par-4 11th, which has played at 4.38 strokes.
* The par-4 third played the easiest on Friday with an average of 3.60 strokes. The third has also been the easiest over the first two days with a stroke average of 3.89.