First off, let's not take anything away from what Martin Kaymer has accomplished over the first two rounds of the 2014 U.S. Open.
He's simply been playing out of his mind, recording back-to-back rounds of 65 for an impressive 10-under par and all-time 36-hole record for the tournament, according to a tweet from ESPN Stats & Info:
Martin Kaymer set the all-time U.S. Open record for lowest 36-hole score (130). He's 10-under through 36.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 13, 2014
Here's the problem: Kaymer's closest competitor is little-known Brendon Todd at four under.
Yes, that's a six-stroke difference.
Just how big of a differential is that in the U.S. Open? A tweet from ESPN's Trey Wingo sums it up pretty well:
Is Martin Kaymer's lead invincible? no 36-hole leader at the U.S. Open has blown a lead of more than 4 shots. And that happened back in 1909— trey wingo (@wingoz) June 13, 2014
So, the last time anyone's come close to overcoming this kind of a deficit in a U.S. Open was over 100 years ago.
That doesn't bode well for the remaining rounds.
The most exciting U.S. Opens in history have come in the form of close contests during the final holes of the tournament. For example, Tiger Woods' playoff victory over Rocco Mediate in 2008 was one of the most invigorating finishes we've seen in quite some time.
Unfortunately, it doesn't look as though we'll be experiencing that this year.
Just take a look at the tournament's updated odds, courtesy of Yahoo Sports' Shane Bacon:
Updated US Open odds to win via @golfodds - Kaymer 4/7, Rory/Henrik/Todd/Sneds 20/1, DJ/Spieth 25/1, Na/Keegan/Kuch/Scott 30/1— Shane Bacon (@shanebacon) June 13, 2014
That's quite a gap.
It's not Kaymer's fault—he's playing some brilliant golf. He's simply on a level of his own right now and isn't being challenged by anyone in the field.
Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports tweeted a viable comparison to Kaymer's performance this year:
Martin Kaymer is going Tiger-at-Pebble-in-2000 on the US Open field. My goodness.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) June 13, 2014
Woods ended up winning by 15 strokes at Pebble Beach that year.
That's where the problem comes in—Kaymer isn't Woods.
This has already led to plenty of comments regarding the hopes of Kaymer stumbling over the weekend. Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald gave his take:
Martin Kaymer needs to visit Triple Bogey City and fast.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) June 13, 2014
Simply put, no one really wants to see a battle for second if they don't have an emotional investment in the leader.
To make matters worse, the USGA will generally attempt to make a course more difficult if it's yielding low numbers—they generally like to keep the scoring as close to even par as possible.
Well, it's safe to say after Kaymer shot 10 under, Pinehurst No. 2 may undergo some changes leading up to the weekend.
Should pin positions become increasingly difficult, and scoring opportunities become more scarce, that only hinders the chance for a member of the field to catch Kaymer. A difficult course won't allow low numbers and therefore won't allow anyone to make a big run.
All Kaymer will need to do is make pars.
That should be easy for Kaymer. He expressed his delight with his current form during a press conference with the Fayetteville Observer.
"The way I play golf right now, it's just really satisfying," he said. "It's very solid, not many mistakes."
Again, it's not Kaymer's fault. He's going about his business in an almost apologetic fashion. However, with golf's biggest names failing to challenge the German, we appear to be in for a second-place battle come Sunday.
That's not quite the drama we were all hoping for.