US Open Golf 2014 Leaderboard: Live Updates and Storylines to Watch for Day 4

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2014

PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 14:  Martin Kaymer of Germany hits his tee shot on the fifth hole during the third round of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 14, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

Although the 2014 U.S. Open seems like a runaway, anything can happen on the final day at Pinehurst No. 2.

Martin Kaymer has been simply outstanding, building up a five-stroke lead with his overall score of eight-under. While he slowed down a bit from his consecutive rounds of 65 on the first two days, he is still in control of this event.

However, there are a number of experienced and talented golfers sitting a few strokes back and would love to challenge for the lead on the final day. If Kaymer slips a bit, expect the next group of challengers to be right there attempting to bring home a major championship.

There is certain to be plenty of action in Round 4 of the U.S. Open, so take a look at this updated leaderboard and the top storylines to follow throughout the day.


Top Storylines

Can Martin Kaymer Avoid Collapse?

PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 14:  Martin Kaymer of Germany reacts on the tenth green during the third round of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 14, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Imag
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

There is no other way to put it; if Kaymer loses, it would be an epic collapse on the final day.

The German star built up a strong enough lead in his first 36 holes that he had the ability to cruise over the weekend. He came back to earth a bit on Saturday, but there is still no reason that he should lose with this big of a lead.

However, this is an extremely difficult course that can cause even great players to have poor rounds. A few missed shots leads to bogeys which are very tough to make up at Pinehurst. He saw this happen with his 72 in Round 3.

Nathan Zegura of CBS Sports notes how big his final birdie was on Saturday, though:

Additionally, Kaymer's win at The Players Championship earlier in the season should give him the confidence necessary to close out a big tournament like this. He knows how to beat this course and he simply needs to remain conservative to avoid any terrible holes.

If he can do this, he should be able to leave with the second major title of his career.


Top Players Looking for Their First Major

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

No matter how well you play in golf, there is a big difference between those who have won a major and those who have fallen short. Webb Simpson has etched his name in the record books with his U.S. Open victory, while players like Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia remain winless in these big events.

While Kaymer already got his major victory at the 2010 PGA Championship, the rest of the leaderboard features a number of big-name players looking to get a win this weekend.

The one with the best chance at this point seems to be Rickie Fowler, who posted an impressive 67 on Saturday to get to three-under for the tournament. Jason Sobel of Golf Channel notes that this performance can change some opinions about the young player:

Just behind him is Henrik Stenson, who finished the 2013 season as well as anyone in the world. He won the Tour Championship but finished in second place at the British Open and third at the PGA Championship, leaving him just short of a major. This will be a good chance to make up for that.

Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar have all had solid showings at major championships as well but have never finished in first place. It will be a challenge for any of them to catch Kaymer, but they will all be hungry for a win.


How High Can Erik Compton Climb?

PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 14:  Erik Compton of the United States hits his tee shot on the 13th hole during the third round of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 14, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.  (Photo by David C
David Cannon/Getty Images

No matter what players you support in golf, it is hard not to root for Erik Compton. Kelly Tilghman of Golf Channel provides insight into what makes this story so special:

According to Beth Ann Nichols of Golf Week, Compton only qualified for this tournament after winning his sectional in a five-person playoff. After posting one of the lowest scores of the day, he is legitimately in contention to win it all.

When asked about his ability to succeed in a pressure-filled environment, he provided a sobering response:

It is hard to imagine Compton sticking around this leaderboard with so many more high-profile golfers, but in reality he was a long shot to get to this point. Having one more good day is not out of the question.

No matter what he does on Sunday, it is clear that he will have plenty of fans watching and rooting him on to finish as high on the leaderboard as possible.


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