Martin Kaymer put the PGA Tour on notice this past weekend, as he absolutely dominated Pinehurst No. 2 to win the 2014 U.S. Open by an unbelievable eight strokes.
Rory McIlroy posted a similarly dominant performance at the 2011 U.S. Open, but even he spoke out about just how incredible Kaymer's tournament was:
.@McIlroyRory (+6, 73) after his round: "To do what [Kaymer] is doing-I think it's nearly more impressive than what I did at Congressional.”— U.S. Open (USGA) (@usopengolf) June 15, 2014
Of course, Kaymer shot back-to-back 65s to open the tournament, breaking McIlroy's record of 65, 66. Kaymer also led after every single round of play—something that speaks to how prepared he was to handle the unforgiving conditions of Pinehurst.
The German was successful in driving accurately, limiting his putts and hitting great approach shots. He did no wrong from Thursday to Sunday, finishing off one of the most remarkable performances of any golfer this season.
Without Tiger Woods in the field, many chose not to tune in to the U.S. Open. Woods keeps fans on their couches, but Kaymer put together an incredibly impressive show. Peter Kostis of CBS Sports thinks it isn't fair that such a double standard exists:
If Tiger was doing what Kaymer is doing everyone would be going bonkers, but with Martin they say it's a boring tournament. Double standard.— Peter Kostis (@peterjkostis) June 15, 2014
Well, Mr. Kostis, Kaymer might not be flying under the radar much anymore.
The 29-year-old's U.S. Open win shouldn't come as a surprise. He won The Players Championship back in May, but he also won a major back in 2010. That year, he took care of business at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits.
Is Martin Kaymer the next star of men's golf?
Kaymer has always been a quality golfer, but this performance has established him as a name to watch moving forward. And that's fair. The 29-year-old has now won two of the past three tournaments he has entered, and he has likely just entered his prime.
Already the winner of two majors, Kaymer is playing good enough golf right now to win another before he turns 30 in December. Anybody who wins two majors in one year is worth consideration among the game's elite.
The easiest way to tell if he's for real will be to watch how he does at the next tournament he enters, but for now, the skills he showed at Pinehurst speak for themselves.
While McIlroy, Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott (among others) are currently the top names in men's golf, Kaymer is a name that is making its way up the list.
Don't sleep on him in the next tournament he enters, and, honestly, you shouldn't sleep on him again. While it's unfair to say he'll go on a Woods-like run from the early 2000s, Kaymer will be a real competitor on the PGA Tour for years to come.