Catch Him If You Can

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Martin Kaymer  Photo:  Getty Images

Martin Kaymer Photo: Getty Images

On The Green
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As I was watching Martin Kaymer boat-race the field and blitz Pinehurst #2 in the U.S. Open like no one EVER has, the one thought that kept going through my head was, “Can we please introduce him to some HARD games for him to play?  I mean, this whole golf thing appears to be past him and I’m starting to become concerned he’ll become bored.”

Wait…that’s it!  That may be the only way anyone can catch him…his own boredom.

Before I make the case-and it’s a WEAK one at best-for why this U.S. Open is not over, let’s bask in some of the superlatives the German has accomplished in two rounds at the cradle of golf in America.

* No one had ever shot as low 65 on Pinehurst #2 in two previous U.S. Opens.  So, Kaymer went out and did it…TWICE…BACK-TO-BACK!

* No one has ever posted 130 after 36 holes in the U.S. Open…until now…and they’ve only been playing this thing for more than 100 years.

* In recent history there have been two other “lapping-of-the-field” occasions at the Open:  Tiger at Pebble (2000) and Rory at Congressional (2011).  In fact, both Rory and Kaymer share the distinction of  having a 6-shot lead at the halfway point.  When asked about this yesterday, Rory responded, “What Martin has done is more impressive.”

* Notoriously, U.S. Open fairways are the hardest to hit.  This week is no exception if you ask 155 tournament participants.  However, that other player is Kaymer who has only hit 25 of 28.  That’s nearly 90%.  You and I would be hard pressed to hit 50% of our targets…ON THE DRIVING RANGE!

* Bogeys at the U.S. Open are like hot donuts at Krispy Kreme, they are always in abundance and never seem to run out.  Kaymer has made, count ‘em, ONE bogey in 36 holes.  Not to pick on the golf games that you and I have again, but we couldn’t do that on a putt-putt course.  And I hasten to remind all…THIS IS THE U.S. OPEN…AT PINEHURST #2!

Okay…I know, enough is enough, right?  Nah…how about one more reason to think this one is O-V-E-R:

* Kaymer leads by 6 after 36. The only man to lose a 6+ shot lead after 36 holes in a major is Abe Mitchell (up 6) at 1920 Open Championship.  (If Abe Mitchell showed up in a t-shirt that said, “Hi my name is Abe Mitchell,” no one would know him.)

NOW…here comes the WEAKEST case of all time why someone else will win the U.S. Open this weekend.

There have been six people to reach double-digits-under-par in the U.S. Open:  Gil Morgan (1982, Pebble Beach), Tiger Woods (2000, Pebble Beach), Jim Furyk (2003, Olympia Fields), Ricky Barnes (2009, Bethpage Black), Rory McIlroy (2011, Congressional), and now, Martin Kaymer.

Of the previous five, only three went on to win the tournament.

Now, the bad news?  The two that didn’t (Gil Morgan and Ricky Barnes) did not have the major championship (2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits), near major championship (last month’s TPC) or a clinching, pressure-filled Ryder Cup-winning putt on their resume.

Kaymer does.

So unless, he is more Morgan and Barnes than Furyk, Woods, or McIlroy, the easiest job in the world this weekend is “Official Trophy Engraver For The USGA.”

Charlie Nance
on Twitter, @WFNZGolfGuy


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