Martin Kaymer's wire-to-wire U.S. Open victory was one for the history books.
The German took a commanding lead right out of the gate by firing a five-under 65 on Thursday. That opening round came with just one blemish—a bogey on the par-four seventh hole.
After a brilliant Round 1, it was expected for Kaymer to come back down to earth on Friday. That didn't happen, as he continued on his torrid pace with yet another 65—this time without a single blemish on his scorecard.
The USGA took over on Saturday, as the tortuous Pinehurst No. 2 featured extremely difficult pin positions. Still, Kaymer held strong and posted a two-over 72 en route to a five-stroke lead heading into Sunday.
During the final round, Kaymer remained resilient. He countered his three bogeys on the day with four brilliant birdies to post one of the day's few sub-par rounds and come away with an astonishing eight-stroke victory.
Here's a look at the U.S. Open's final leaderboard:
The full leaderboard can be found on PGATour.com.
With the win, Kaymer's pockets become quite a bit deeper, according to a tweet from Robert Raiola, CPA:
The money was well earned.
On Sunday, it was Kaymer versus himself, as a solid round almost assured him of a victory on a course which refused to give up strokes over the weekend.
Not only did Kaymer put together a fine round on Sunday, but he executed with precision. According to Alex Perry of ESPN.com. Kaymer was the only player in the final eight groups to finish under par—the remaining 15 players were a combined 52 over.
His performance certainly must have made his home country proud, according to a tweet from ESPN:
Congrats to Martin Kaymer, the first German winner of the U.S. Open. pic.twitter.com/mNJAmIOmou— ESPN (@espn) June 15, 2014
ESPN's Trey Wingo may have summed up Kaymer's final round best:
Martin Kaymer has been a fairway hittin, green landing.. putt sinking German machine today. #asundaycruiseontheautobahn— trey wingo (@wingoz) June 15, 2014
Kaymer's feat was recognized by many across the globe.
One athlete to commend him on his performance was the LPGA phenom Lexi Thompson:
Congrats to Martin Kaymer on the impressive win at the @usopengolf !! Great to watch a few holes live, now it's the ladies turn:)👍— Lexi Thompson (@Lexi) June 16, 2014
After Kaymer, only Erik Compton and Rickie Fowler were able to finish under par.
Both players posted two-over 72s on the day after beginning their rounds at three under.
It was an incredible journey for Compton—the two-time heart transplant recipient. It's simply remarkable what he has been able to overcome en route to finishing second in the U.S. Open.
His story is simply inspiring, and his post-round comments ring true. Here's what he had to say, via a tweet from Conor O'Neill of the Burlington Times-News:
"If I never play golf again for the rest of my life, I think I've made my mark on this game." - Erik Compton.— Conor O'Neill (@ConorONeillTN) June 16, 2014
As for Fowler, he stumbled a bit on Sunday, but his work with coach Butch Harmon certainly looks to be paying off. Classy both on and off the course, Fowler showed plenty of maturity in the final pairing on Sunday, via Gene Wojciechowski of ESPN:
Classy of @RickieFowlerPGA to let Kaymer walk ahead of him to the 18th green. Fowler is a good dude.— Gene Wojciechowski (@GenoEspn) June 15, 2014
Just how promising does Fowler's future look? The Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman breaks it down with this tweet:
Rickie Fowler has 3 top 10s in his last 5 majors and he's gone T5, T2 in his last 2. He's only 25 yrs old.— Kelly Tilghman (@KellyTilghmanGC) June 16, 2014
Kaymer's historical win, Fowler's growth as a golfer and Compton's incredible story are just three of them.
That's the reason why the U.S. Open remains one of the most breathtaking spectacles in all of sports.