The 2014 U.S. Open is set for an exciting Day 3 of action that will decide just how close—if at all—things will be heading into the final round.
Martin Kaymer is the reason why things might not be so tight down the stretch. After shooting a 65 on Thursday's opening round, he followed that up with yet another 65 to take a commanding six-stroke lead at 10 under par.
Let's break down the updated results from Day 3.
Day 3 Outlook
We're 36 holes into the U.S. Open, and many of those 36 have included the world's top golfers playing catch-up to Martin Kaymer.
The German golfer rose to the challenge on the opening day at Pinehurst, but that only set the stage for another day of dominance. Two rounds, two scores of 65 to grab a stranglehold over the year's second major.
Kaymer messed around and made history on the day, per ESPN Stats and Information:
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
Any of the golfers in the field would gladly trade places with Kaymer on the leaderboard, but playing from in front is no easy task.
A six-stroke lead could be untouchable if Kaymer plays anywhere near the level he's been playing at, but with 36 holes separating him from U.S. Open glory, there's plenty of room left for him to slip up.
The biggest current threat to his lead, Brendon Todd, will tee off alongside him on Saturday, per PGA Tour:
Brendon Todd is in the clubhouse at 4 under and he'll have a tee time with Martin Kaymer tomorrow at the #USOpen.— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 13, 2014
The 28-year-old Todd isn't a mainstay at the top of major leaderboards as he only has one PGA Tour victory, but if there's anyone remotely close to Kaymer's level of excellence so far at Pinehurst, it's him. Todd opened up with a respectable one-under 69, but his round of 67 on Friday catapulted him up the leaderboard.
How much will Martin Kaymer lead by after Day 3?
He isn't alone among the contenders somewhat within striking distance. Brandt Snedeker, Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley, Matt Kuchar and Rory McIlroy highlight the list of golfers who are under par for the tournament and within nine shots of Kaymer's lead.
But the reality for Todd, Snedeker and the rest of them is that while they're all bunched together, Kaymer's score stands way out there. A six-stroke lead is nothing short of impossible to chip away at if Kaymer continues to keep his scores below par.
The hopes of Sunday being a tightly contested round rest on the struggles—or lack thereof—from Kaymer. If he shoots over par, expect stars to make their move.
If he keeps making birdies, though, Kaymer might just be started re-writing the history books.
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