It’s hard at this point to think someone other than Martin Kaymer is going to win the 2014 US Open, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Typically, the USGA sets up the golf course easier for the first two rounds because of logistics. With the field now cut down to size, they will create a real test for the remaining players on Saturday and Sunday at Pinehurst Resort Number Two.
Other than the 29 year-old Kaymer who is at 10-under par, and will start his “Moving Day” with a six-shot lead, there are 13 players at even par or better who will be ready if the 2103 Players Champion makes a few mistakes.
Among the players who are the closest to the lead, there are three former major champions, and two FedEx Cup champions.
All it takes is for Kaymer to lose a few strokes, someone else to get hot and gain three strokes on Saturday, and we will have a nice Sunday finish.
The other factor on Saturday depends on the status of Kaymer’s wrist.
He seemed to be favoring his left wrist late in the day on Friday after he hit a couple of shots off of the hard dry surface. If he lets a couple of drives get away, and into the native areas, he could aggravate the pain.
Kaymer has missed just three fairways in the first two rounds at Pinehurst No. 2 while hitting 26 of 36 greens. He has 11 birdies and just a single bogey in two rounds.
“I don’t know what to say. It’s just very, very solid,” Kaymer said. “It gets boring, the words that I use, but I mean there’s not much to say. It’s just good right now, the way I play golf.”
Everyone knows that at some point in the next two days, Martin Kaymer is going to have a rough spot. How he handles it will determine if anyone else will get a chance or not.
“No matter who you are, how you play, over the course of 72 holes, you’re going to have a flat spot or a tough spell or a rough patch,” Justin Rose said. “It’s possible one of us could shoot 65, 65 on the weekend. So it’s by no means over at this stage.” The 2013 U.S. Open champion is at 1-over 141 after shooting 72-69.
Phil Mickelson said, “You never know what will happen in a U.S. Open. We have always had crazy things happen. So you just never know. There’s a lot of guys right there ready to pounce if he slips up.” Mickelson is at 3-over 143 (70-73).
It’s the beauty of sports. All indications are that Martin Kaymer will notch his second win of the year, and the second major of his career, but like Howard Cosell used to say, “that’s why they play the game”. And that’s why, as fans, we watch!