The final round of the 2014 U.S. Open from Pinehurst No. 2 is underway. And while six players will begin Sunday's fourth round under par, all eyes will be on one man.
Germany's Martin Kaymer enters the final 18 holes with a commanding five-stroke lead. The former PGA Championship winner shot a U.S. Open record 10-under 130 through the opening rounds on Thursday and Friday, and although he came back down to earth on Saturday, shooting a two-over 72, he's still in prime position to claim his second major title.
Below we'll get you up to speed on the latest leaderboard updates and predict how Sunday's final round will play out.
Only Five Players Will Finish Under Par
While only half of a dozen players will begin Sunday's final round under par for the tournament, only two players, Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton, shot under par in Saturday's third round.
But with the course continuing to wreak havoc on Sunday, watch for plenty more bogeys and more high scores.
Prior to the start of the U.S. Open, Kaymer predicted that an eight-over 288 would win the tournament. That won't be the case this weekend, but the point is that the players who finish under par for the tournament will be an endangered species at Pinehurst on Sunday.
On Saturday, Golfweek's Brentley Robine put the course difficulty in perspective:
Kaymer is seemingly a lock to finish under par for the tournament, but don't expect many others to join him. Watch for only the top five finishers to wrap up the final 18 holes under par on Sunday.
Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson and defending champion Justin Rose are sure to finish in the top five this weekend in addition to Kaymer.
Players like Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy will be looking to fly under the radar and move up the leaderboard, but they will have to climb out of a deep hole to do so.
Martin Kaymer Will Win U.S. Open
Kaymer is the popular pick to win the 2014 U.S. Open and for good reason. Not only does the 29-year-old enter the final round with a five-shot lead, but he's won a major in the past and isn't new to this stage.
Plus, we already know that Kaymer is capable of shooting a 5-under 65 at this course.
While anything can happen, the most likely scenario would see Kaymer hold on to finish atop the leaderboard and hoist his second major trophy this weekend.
Despite having been under the microscope for the past three days, Kaymer has remained level-headed and is well-aware of the dangers lurking at Pinehurst No. 2, per the Associated Press, via ESPN.com:
If you're four shots, five shots, six shots, if you play a golf course like this, it can be gone very quickly. You could see it today. So the challenge tomorrow is to keep going and not try to defend anything. So we'll see how it will react tomorrow, how the body feels and how I handle the situation.
Kaymer certainly had to feel the pressure during Saturday's third round, and although we found out that he's human after all, his ability to stop the bleeding on challenging holes bodes extremely well for his chances.
The pressure will only intensify over Sunday's final round. However, the pressure on his biggest threats will also increase as they will have little room for error on the leaderboard.
Look for Kaymer to remain composed and confident on Sunday as he maintains his massive lead en route to his first U.S. Open triumph.
Even if Fowler and Compton are able to post back-to-back three-under 67s on Sunday, it's unlikely it'll be enough to derail Kaymer, who set the tone with his blistering first-round performance on Thursday.
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