Martin Kaymer set a U.S. Open scoring record and got a permanent place on PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem’s Christmas card list. Not bad for a Friday morning.
Kaymer’s bogey-free, second-round 65 put him one better than Rory McIlroy’s previous 36-hole record of 131 for the first two rounds. McIlroy shot his at Congressional CC in the 2011 U.S. Open.
“Somebody has to do it at one stage,” Kaymer said humbly. “I got a little tight the last three or four holes, but I made good up-and-downs, especially on six and seven. I hit enough fairways, enough greens, gave myself a few chances, made a couple longer putts today on 16 and then another one earlier.”
He credited the overnight rain.
The next best players were eight shots behind Kaymer, making his score a little, dare we say it, Tiger Woods-like. Chasers would have to shoot 62 just to tie him today. Since 63 is the lowest round ever shot at any major championship, the likelihood of that happening are low.
It wasn’t flashy. It wasn’t from the worst spots on the course. It was just very, very good golf. It was Vision 54-type of golf, which is what Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson called the concept of every shot having a purpose with the overall goal being a birdie on every hole, hence Vision 54.
Kaymer is the sixth player to reach double digits in a U.S. Open. The others are: Gil Morgan in 1992, Tiger Woods in 2000, Jim Furyk in 2003, Ricky Barnes in 2009 and Rory McIlroy in 2011. Though the others reached that number, only McIlroy and Kaymer were double digits through 36 holes.
“You need a little bit of luck here and there, and that was on my side,” Kaymer added. He also said he would like to see it as tough as possible on the weekend. While that would make it hard on him, it would also make it hard for anyone to catch him.
“I'm leading by eight, but by the end of the day, maybe I lead only by two or three, or maybe we're tied or something,” he suggested, although the leaderboard was not shaping up that way.
He recalled McIlroy’s lead at Congressional.
“I played Congressional and I thought, I mean how can you shoot that low? And that's probably what a lot of other people think about me right now,” he said, adding that he just did not make any big mistakes.
And finally, here’s how he gets to the Commissioner’s permanent Christmas card list.
When asked what it would be like to win his second major, he answered, “In my books, I won a second Major already with The Players.”
Kathy Bissell is a Golf Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand or from official interview materials from the USGA, PGA Tour or PGA of America.