We're only through the midway point of Friday's action, and the 2014 U.S. Open is already shaping up to be a wild ride for the entire field.
Pinehurst No. 2 is a highly demanding course—errant tee shots are penalized with thick rough and unfriendly angles and devastating pin positions. Still, some of this year's field have been able to navigate the treacherous course with precision. Others have not been so fortunate.
With the cut coming after the completion of Day 2, the majority of the field is scrambling to rise above the anticipated number—currently set at three-over par—however, other players are lighting up the course with impressive low numbers.
Let's take a look at the current leaderboard and highlight some of the top scorers from Friday's early rounds.
The full leaderboard can be found on PGATour.com.
Friday's Top Scorers
Kaymer is playing in a league of his own right now.
He fired an impressive five-under 65 on Day 1 to take the lead and refused to relinquish it early on Friday.
Kaymer began on the back nine at Pinehurst No. 2 on Friday, but that didn't slow him down one bit. He notched a birdie on the par-five 10th right out of the gate. After birdies on the 13th and 16th holes, his three-under 32 put him in great position.
But he didn't stop there.
Kaymer birdied the par-four third and par-five fifth to move to five under for the day and an astonishing 10 under for the tournament.
Already, Twitter was ablaze with comments.
Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports mentioned a familiar comparison:
Martin Kaymer is going Tiger-at-Pebble-in-2000 on the US Open field. My goodness.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) June 13, 2014
Vic Lombardi of CBS4 had his own take:
Martin Kaymer needs to slow down a bit. Don't be a hero. I want some sort of drama this weekend.— Vic Lombardi (@VicLombardi) June 13, 2014
Fox Sports Live tweeted its opinion on the day:
After parring out, Kaymer set a new tournament record, according to Ron Sirak of Golf World:
Martin Kaymer finishes 36 holes of @usopengolf in record -10 (130) on Pinehurst No. 2. His fight for the weekend will be with himself.— Ron Sirak (@ronsirak) June 13, 2014
Should Kaymer finish in the same fashion over the weekend, surely many records will fall. However, simply maintaining his lead will make him the first player to accomplish one feat, according to ESPN Stats & Info:
Martin Kaymer could be come the 1st player ever to win THE PLAYERS Championship and the U.S. Open in the same year.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 13, 2014
We could be witnessing history in the making.
Round 1 didn't go quite as planned for Scott.
After recording a birdie on the par-five fifth, it all went downhill for the Aussie. Four bogeys later, Scott finished his round with a three-over 73 and was in danger of missing the cut entering Friday's action.
Well, he's not in danger anymore.
Scott began on the back nine on Friday, and it didn't take long to start digging himself out of his hole. He recorded back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th holes to finish two under for his opening nine.
After a hiccup on the par-four second, he rebounded nicely with two birdies over the next three holes and parred out for a round of 67.
His score of three under for the day brings him back to even for the tournament and puts him in great position entering the weekend.
Scott finished just before Kaymer and briefly had the low round of the day, according to a tweet from Golf Central:
World No. 1 Adam Scott (E) posts a 2nd round 3-under 67, lowest round in the clubhouse from the early wave. #USOpen— Golf Central (@GolfCentral) June 13, 2014
The Aussie may not be able to catch Kaymer at this point—barring an unforeseen meltdown—but should be well in the mix for a great finish.
Koepka may be a bit of a surprise at this point in the tournament.
Formerly a member of the Web.com tour, Koepka doesn't have much experience on the PGA Tour, having played in just 14 total events with one top-10 finish.
He's had a roller-coaster ride through two rounds, but still finds himself near the top of the leaderboard heading into the weekend.
Koepka's one-eagle, two-birdie and four-bogey performance on Thursday kept him at even par heading into Friday's action.
He continued to have his fair share of ups and downs but played well enough to finish in the red.
Three bogeys and five birdies on Friday allowed him to finish with a two-under 68 for the day.
Koepka spoke with Randall Mell of the Golf Channel after his round and reflected on Kaymer's dominant performance:
Brooks Koepka (68) on being T-2 & 8 behind: "Martin seems to be playing a different course. Ten under is incredible."— Randall Mell (@RandallMellGC) June 13, 2014
He'll need to find some more consistency heading into the weekend if he is to remain near the top of the leaderboard, but he's shown some glimpses of brilliance over the first two days of the tournament.