Day 3 of the 2014 U.S. Open is now underway, and Martin Kaymer enters with his lead virtually untouchable.
Kaymer went on a two-round tear unlike anything the American championship has ever seen, following up a 65 in the first round by another 65 on Friday to hold a six-stroke lead at 10 under entering Saturday. Brendon Todd, Kevin Na and Brandt Snedeker are the closest to him, but it's a sizable gap to say the least.
Has Kaymer been able to further distance himself, or are other standouts starting to emerge? Have a look for yourself:
Day 3 Outlook
Moving day—Saturday's third round—in major golf tournaments can often be one of the most exciting days in the sport. As told by the nickname, star golfers are literally moving in and out of the lead, and in most cases, it's anyone's championship and spotlight to claim entering Sunday.
Well, the 2014 U.S. Open hasn't quite been "most cases."
Heading into this weekend's action in Pinehurst, N.C., a notoriously tricky course figured to throw golfers for a loop and bring down scores near the par range. Even if a golfer was to get his score noticeably under par, it was expected to take all four rounds.
For every golfer but Kaymer this weekend, that's proven to be true, with a select 12 golfers under par and only three better than two-under. That's separated him from the field, as ESPN's Trey Wingo noticed:
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
The U.S. Open, along with most majors, is notorious for being tightly contested and up for grabs, at least entering the weekend. This year is not one of those years.
The last time ESPN's Mike Greenberg saw such dominance was in 2000, when Tiger Woods' 12-under par score was the only subpar score:
Last time I saw anything like what Martin Kaymer did the last two days, it was Tiger. Fourteen years ago. #USOpen— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) June 14, 2014
What makes Kaymer's dominat performance even more impressive is that he's far from a household name. He does have the 2010 PGA Championship to his name, but he's far from a mainstay in the spotlight of the sport with a No. 28 world ranking.
But as convincing, historically reveling and unexpected as the German's two rounds have been at Pinehurst, they're just that—two rounds.
Will Martin Kaymer close out the 2014 U.S. Open?
He's still only halfway home to his second major championship. Even though Kaymer might be pinching himself at his six-stroke lead entering Saturday, he can't get caught up in it, because it's a given that contenders will make a surge on Saturday, and Kaymer must be ready to answer them.
Some of the other names—Snedeker, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and more—below par are more than capable of putting pressure on Kaymer entering Sunday.
He won't need two more rounds of 65, but if Kaymer fails to keep his score near par down the stretch of the tournament, he could blow one of the bigger leads in U.S. Open history.
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