Martin Kaymer is closing in on his first U.S. Open title, but he still must survive the final 18 holes at Pinehurst No. 2.
The German star built up an incredible lead over the first two days and heads into Sunday with a five-stroke lead over everyone else in the field. However, we have seen worse collapses in the past, and this course can certainly cause trouble for anyone.
If he starts coming back to earth, there are a number of top competitors ready to catch the current leader.
Here is an up-to-date look at the leaderboard with a breakdown of the top contenders on the final day of the U.S. Open.
Kaymer has been truly impressive throughout this tournament, posting a 65 in each of the first two rounds to mark the lowest two-day score in U.S. Open history. While he struggled a bit in Round 3 with five bogeys, he did not let this affect him too much as he still finished with a respectable 72.
According to Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune, Kaymer discussed his thought process during Saturday's round:
I knew what I did wrong. I missed the tee shots. I didn't make any mental mistakes or any strategy mistakes, it was just poor golf shots. I think, even obviously after the first two days, for me it's OK to hit some poor shots once in a while.
At the end of the day, we're playing a game.
His confidence to keep playing through poor shots is what has made the difference in this tournament. He has played out of sand and pine needles and just about every other hazard on this course and still found ways to avoid poor holes.
Recent history has shown that comebacks are not only possible but likely on the final day of this tournament:
Beware Martin Kaymer. Only 2 of the last 9 54-hole leaders went on to win the U.S. Open (Rory McIlroy in 2011 & Tiger Woods in 2008)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 15, 2014
Still, there is no reason anyone should be able to catch him as long as he keeps any damage to a minimum and posts a reasonable score on Sunday.
That being said, there will be a number of challengers aiming for first but who will also settle for second place in this prestigious tournament.
One of the bigger names is Rickie Fowler, the charismatic youngster who will be in the final group along with Kaymer. He is one of a few players all looking for their first major, according to ESPN's Trey Wingo:
FYI. 8 of last 9 US Open winners have been first time major winners. Fowler, Compton, Dustin, Stenson, Na, Kuchar would qualify— trey wingo (@wingoz) June 14, 2014
Fowler was one of only two men to post a score in the red on Saturday, and he finished with an impressive 67 to put him just five strokes off the lead. Although he is wild, he does a little bit of everything well and he has the opportunity to continue carding birdies until he catches Kaymer.
Who will win the 2014 U.S. Open?
Just behind him on the leaderboard coming into the day are Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson, two players who know what it is like to be in contention at a major. The pair combined for three top-10 finishes at the last three majors and would each like to finally move into first place at one of these events.
Do not be surprised if Matt Kuchar also finishes strong after a solid year to this point. He comes into the day at even par, but he is capable of moving up the list in a hurry.
This leaves Erik Compton, who is perhaps the best story in the tournament. The 34-year-old golfer has had two heart transplant surgeries, but came back and qualified for the U.S. Open after surviving a five-man playoff in the qualifier.
Amazingly, he has played exceptionally well this week and is now tied for second with a score of three under par. When asked how he focuses, he reminded people where he has been:
Erik Compton: "I've been through a few situations in life that are much more high-pressure than hitting a tee shot." pic.twitter.com/XXbelQE250— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) June 14, 2014
No matter what happens to Compton on Sunday, you can be certain he will have plenty of fans cheering him on to bring home a title on father's day.
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