The Duncan Banner

Sports

June 16, 2014

Rough or not, Kaymer was the star of this US Open

PINEHURST, N.C. — Two days into the U.S. Open, it didn’t look like one.

No one ever began the toughest test in golf with consecutive rounds of 65. Martin Kaymer set the 36-hole scoring record at 130 amid complaints that a restored, rustic Pinehurst No. 2 without traditional rough was making it too easy.

Or maybe Kaymer was simply that good.

One question that came up Saturday morning is worth asking again after the “Germanator” produced the second-lowest score in U.S. Open history (271) with an eight-shot victory in which he led by at least four shots over the last 48 holes.

If this had been Tiger Woods, would anyone be talking so much about the golf course?

“I can remember we got some criticism in 2000 because Tiger shot 12 under at Pebble Beach,” USGA executive director Mike Davis said Sunday evening, referring to what still stands as the greatest performance in the majors. “And I kind of scratched my head thinking, ‘OK, the best score for the other 155 players was 3 over.’”

This is the other side of a double standard that applies to Woods, through no fault of his own. When he wins big — and he has done that a lot in his career — it’s all about the player. Anyone else and something was wrong with the golf course.

Pinehurst No. 2 was a worthy test.

Take the 29-year-old German out of the equation and there would have been a playoff Monday between Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton, who won the B Flight at this U.S. Open. They were the only other players to finish under par. Isn’t that typical of a U.S. Open?

The USGA keeps data known as “cost of rough,” a peculiar term after touting Pinehurst No. 2 as having no rough. The cost of missing the fairway this week was .286 shots, compared with .303 when the U.S. Open first came to Pinehurst in 1999 (Payne Stewart won at 1-under 279), and .368 in 2005 when Michael Campbell won at even par.

Pay attention to the game, not the name.

“I think we all were playing for second,” Compton said.

“Martin was playing his own tournament,” Fowler said.

These are similar to the sentiments shared after Woods destroyed the field at Pebble Beach, and Rory McIlroy did the same at Congressional in 2011.

McIlroy set the U.S. Open scoring record on a rain-softened course at 16-under 268 to win by eight shots. Twenty players finished under par that week. Perhaps that’s why McIlroy said he considered Kaymer’s performance at Pinehurst No. 2 to be more impressive.

Kaymer had been a forgotten star the last two years as he worked to build a complete game. McIlroy helped made golf fans forget about Kaymer, too. He is younger than Kaymer (by just over four years), and rose to stardom by winning two majors by eight shots in consecutive years.

Kaymer won his first major at Whistling Straits in 2010 at a PGA Championship remembered for Dustin Johnson’s blunder in the bunker.

Overlooked in the final hour of chaos was the clutch tee shot by Kaymer on the 223-yard 17th hole along Lake Michigan, and a 15-foot birdie putt that tied Bubba Watson going into the last hole of the playoff. He won a World Golf Championship in Shanghai at the end of 2011 with nine birdies over the last 12 holes to close with 63.

During his U.S. Open romp on Sunday, NBC showed a highlight of one moment that shows how strong Kaymer is between the ears.

It was from the Ryder Cup last year at Medinah. He was playing so badly that no one in Europe — Kaymer included — wanted him to make the team. Kaymer played only one match going into Sunday. And just his luck, he stood over a 6-foot putt on the 18th hole that effectively would decide the Ryder Cup.

He poured it into the heart of the cup, a show of will and incredible mental strength.

Davis walked the last two rounds with Kaymer this weekend, and as much as he was paying attention to how the course played, even more impressive was watching Kaymer.

“We should celebrate what Martin Kaymer did this week,” Davis said. “He executed beautifully. He thought beautifully. ... To watch his course management and his execution was just brilliant. To me, I like a course setup where if you do all the right things you get rewarded.”

That’s how it was for Woods, whose win at Pebble Beach was historic. That’s how it was for McIlroy, whose victory at Congressional was hailed as the arrival of golf’s next star. Kaymer’s win shouldn’t be viewed much differently.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Cox Duncan’s Cox shines with 3-over 74

    Tuesday night, Duncan High School golfer Graham Cox stayed up late watching “Batman Begins.”

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Morrow Marlow trio looking to take next step at state

    The Marlow boys’ golf team finished fifth in the state tournament last year, but with the team actively trying to improve this summer, the Outlaws have their sights set much higher.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Watson leaves Bray-Doyle before first season starts

    Jeremy Watson has resigned as Bray-Doyle High School boys basketball coach, Athletic Director Frank Moser said Wednesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stars align Big names featured at wrestling camp

    Kids were lining up for autographs from Oklahoma assistant wrestling coach Michael Lightner, after Marlow’s wrestling camp Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Williams Demon softball starts preseason

    Last year, Duncan softball came close.
    This year, coach Robert Cowan has made it clear close will not be good enough.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Duncan well represented at Hoedebeck tournament

    The Duncan Golf and Tennis Club will host 60 players, 10 of which are in the Duncan Public School system, in its Hoedebeck Memorial Junior Tournament Wednesday through Thursday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Playoff hopes on Oklahoma’s mind at Big 12 media day

    High expectations are always chained to Oklahoma both internally and among its massive fan base.
    However, the Sooners enter the 2014 season as a consensus pick to reach the first College Football Playoff. For once, all expectations mesh.

    July 23, 2014

  • Former OSU line coach having impact at UT

    It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it – former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong's Texas Longhorns.

    July 23, 2014

  • In the middle of it Demons return from camp energized

    Duncan volleyball returned to practice with a spring in its step Monday, despite not being on their own gym floor.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Poll

Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results