Pinehurst - Germany's
Martin Kaymer has battled through adversity to remain in command of the US
Open, closing with a birdie to seize a five-stroke lead after Saturday's
third round at Pinehurst.
Kaymer, whose 65-65 start was a 36-hole
US Open record, made bogeys on three of the first six holes and two
more on the back nine Saturday but eagled the fifth and sank an
eight-foot birdie putt at 18 to fire a two-over par 72 and stand on
eight-under 202 for 54 holes.
"It was good. I didn't play as good
as the first two days but I kept it very well together," Kaymer said.
"Though I didn't hit as many great shots, overall it's a decent round."
could become only the seventh wire-to-wire US Open winner, joining
Tiger Woods Rory McIlroy, Walter Hagen, Ben Hogan, Tony Jacklin and
"I'm looking forward to see how I react to certain
situations," Kaymer said.
"Anything can happen. I can lead by seven or
eight shots after nine holes. I can be down to all square. So it will be
an exciting round.
"It'll be interesting how I handle it."
since Mike Brady squandered a five-shot edge in 1919 has a US Open
54-hole leader had such a margin and failed to win the title.
pin placements by the US Golf Association (USGA), what Kaymer's playing
partner Brendon Todd called "a little bit of a revenge," produced only
two players with sub-par rounds -- Americans Rickie Fowler and Erik
Compton. Each shot 67 to share second on 207.
"I put myself into
contention," Fowler said.
"It was all about moving forward. The course
played significantly harder. You still have to be aggressive even when
you are trying to play safely."
Sweden's Henrik Stenson and
American Dustin Johnson, who each shot 70, shared fourth on 208 with
American Brandt Snedeker the only other player under par for the event
If Snedeker wins, he would match the greatest last-day
comeback in US Open history, the epic seven-stroke rally by Arnold
Palmer in 1960 at Cherry Hills.
"You come out fresh, new mindset,"
said Snedeker. Seven shots is what I'm behind. That's nine holes out
here. I know a lot can happen. I shot 30 on the front nine this week
before. I can go do it again and put some pressure on them and have some
fun."Kaymer, who seeks
his second major title after the 2010 PGA Championship, is coming off a
Players Championship victory last month that snapped a three-year win
drought on top-level tours.
"If you play a golf course like this,
it can be gone very quickly. You could see it. I made three bogeys the
first six holes. I didn't hit many fairways," Kaymer said.
challenge will be tomorrow to keep going and not try to defend
anything, because if you try to defend then you don't swing as free. And
that will be the challenge."
The 29-year-old from Dusseldorf took
a bogey at the second and needed a 20-foot putt at the fourth just to
salvage a bogey after his tee shot landed against a pile of pine straw.
"It was a very big putt to make that bogey," Kaymer said. "To lose only one on a hole like this, it's OK."
At the par-5 fifth, Kaymer blasted his approach from the sand to five feet from the cup and made the eagle putt.
at the sixth, Kaymer rolled a 50-foot birdie attempt off the far side
of the turtle-backed green, then chipped back near the hole and again
rescued a bogey.
"I felt like if you have 25 or 30 feet on every
green, you've done well," Kaymer said. "On 18 it was probably the
easiest pin today and fortunately I could take care of it."
champion Justin Rose of England was on 211, nine off the pace, as were
Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge and Masters runner-up Jordan Spieth, who
were Kaymer's top rivals at times.
World number one Adam Scott, fellow Australian Jason Day and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy were on 213.
Scores after Saturday's third round of the 114th US Open golf championship at par-70 Pinehurst:
202 - Martin Kaymer (GER) 65-65-72
207 - Rickie Fowler (USA) 70-70-67, Erik Compton (USA) 72-68-67
208 - Henrik Stenson (SWE) 69-69-70, Dustin Johnson (USA) 69-69-70
209 - Brandt Snedeker (USA) 69-68-72
210 - Matt Kuchar (USA) 69-70-71, Brooks Koepka (USA) 70-68-72, Kevin Na (USA) 68-69-73
211 - Justin Rose (ENG) 72-69-70, Jordan Spieth (USA) 69-70-72, Chris Kirk (USA) 71-68-72, Brendon de Jonge (ZIM) 68-70-73
212 - Victor Dubuisson (FRA) 70-72-70, Francesco Molinari (ITA) 69-71-72
213 - Garth Mulroy (RSA) 71-72-70, Jimmy Walker (USA) 70-72-71, Jason Day (AUS) 73-68-72, Marcel Siem (GER) 70-71-72, JB Holmes (USA) 70-71-72, Adam Scott (AUS) 73-67-73, Rory McIlroy (NIR) 71-68-74
214 - Shiv Kapur (IND) 73-70-71, Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN) 70-72-72, Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 70-71-73, Steve Stricker (USA) 70-71-73, Hideki Matsuyama (JPN) 69-71-74, Ian Poulter (ENG) 70-70-74, Keegan Bradley (USA) 69-69-76
215 - Ryan Moore (USA) 76-68-71, Retief Goosen (RSA) 73-71-71, Bill Haas (USA) 72-72-71, Phil Mickelson (USA) 70-73-72, Brendon Todd (USA) 69-67-79
216 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) 73-71-72, Cody Gribble (USA) 72-72-72, Ernie Els (RSA) 74-70-72, Billy Horschel (USA) 75-68-73, Webb Simpson (USA) 71-72-73, Patrick Reed (USA) 71-72-73, Jim Furyk (USA) 73-70-73
217 - Nicholas Lindheim (USA) 72-73-72, Zach Johnson (USA) 71-74-72, Kenny Perry (USA) 74-69-74, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 68-74-75
218 - Zac Blair (USA) 71-74-73, Stewart Cink (USA) 72-72-74, Scott Langley (USA) 72-71-75, Gary Woodland (USA) 72-71-75, Noh Seung-Yul (KOR) 70-72-76
219 - Paul Casey (ENG) 70-75-74, Bo Van Pelt (USA) 72-72-75, Harris English (USA) 69-75-75, Danny Willett (ENG) 70-71-78
220 - Billy Hurley (USA) 71-74-75, Justin Leonard (USA) 75-70-75
221 - Clayton Rask (USA) 73-71-77, Alex Cejka (GER) 73-71-77, Daniel Berger (USA) 72-71-78, Fran Quinn (USA) 68-74-79
222 - Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 71-73-78, Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 71-73-78
223 - Kevin Stadler (USA) 77-68-78
224 - Boo Weekley (USA) 71-73-80
225 - Kevin Tway (USA) 72-72-81
226 - Russell Henley (USA) 70-74-82
233 - Toru Taniguchi (JPN) 72-73-88