The 2014 U.S. Open heads into the pivotal Day 3 with plenty of action set to take place in the final 36 holes, but everyone is chasing one vaulted score.
Martin Kaymer's 10-under par score from the first two rounds gives him a whopping six-stroke lead—that's quite the gap between him and the rest of the field. His round of 65 on Thursday was matched by the same exact score on Friday.
There are plenty of contenders within striking distance should Kaymer struggle out of the gates on Saturday, and if he gives up a few early bogeys, they will be ready to make their move.
Let's break down the latest leaderboard and take a closer look into Day 3.
Day 3 Preview
Martin Kaymer wasn't satisfied with simply posting a strong round to cushion the 65 that he shot on Thursday, so he had to go out and make history by shooting a 65 yet again in Round 2.
That gave him his own place in the U.S. Open history books, as Fox Sports Live observed:
We've seen showings of dominance like this at major tournaments in the sport, but they typically come from a player like Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy. While Kaymer has the 2010 PGA Championship to his credit, he's not quite on that level.
Although, that seems to be changing at Pinehurst. Through 36 holes, he's been so good that two rounds of par golf may be enough for him to clinch his second major championship.
Heading into Day 3, it seems history is on his side according to ESPN's Trey Wingo:
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
Sure, if Kaymer ends up losing his lead at Pinehurst, it would have historical significance. But a quick look at the field and at the unpredictability of major tournaments suggests that finishing out could be easier said than done.
Will Martin Kaymer win the U.S. Open?
Brendon Todd surged on Friday and entered Saturday just six strokes back after a round of 67, and if he shoots a similar round, he could put a sizable dent into Kaymer's lead awfully quick. Kevin Na, Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson also aren't far behind, along with a crop of players who are waiting for Kaymer to fold.
But that's all the top golfers in the world can do at this point—wait for Kaymer to do something, anything to give them a sliver of hope.
Things could end up being awfully tight at the top of the leaderboard if those contenders have their way. But just as likely at this point is another magnificent round for Kaymer, which would put him on the doorstep of winning the 2014 U.S. Open title.