Wednesday, March 4, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Martin Kaymer seizes US Open lead with 65

By
From page B7 | June 13, 2014 |

Martin Kaymer

Martin Kaymer, of Germany, hits from the fairway on the 18th hole during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

PINEHURST, N.C. — Three days of practice at the new Pinehurst No. 2 was enough to make Martin Kaymer believe this would be the same old U.S. Open.

So when he walked off the course on the eve of golf’s toughest test and was asked what he would take for a score at the end of the week, he figured on 8-over par. That changed Thursday morning when he turned on his TV to watch early coverage.

Shots at the flag were checking up near the hole. He saw birdies — more than he expected.

Kaymer made six of them in the afternoon, three on the final five holes, sending the 29-year-old German to the lowest score in three Opens held at Pinehurst No. 2. He one-putted the last five holes, including a 6-foot par putt on the 18th that gave him a 5-under 65 and a three-shot lead.

“It was more playable than I thought,” he said. “I think that made a big difference mentally, that you feel like there are actually some birdies out there, not only bogeys.”

So much was made of the new look at No. 2, which was restored to its old look from more than a half-century ago. Pinehurst turned out to be more different than anyone imagined — at least for one day.

As for Kaymer’s prediction?

“But obviously, they softened the conditions a little bit so it was more playable,” he said. “So hopefully, I’m not right with the plus 8. I would be disappointed.”

Former U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell took the conservative route on his way to a 68 that featured 15 pars, one bogey, one birdie and one eagle. He was joined by Kevin Na, Brendon de Jonge and Fran Quinn, a 49-year-old who last played a U.S. Open in 1996, when Tiger Woods was still an amateur.

“This was a golf course where I spent the last few days just preparing myself mentally for the challenge, really, knowing that this golf course wasn’t going to give much and it was only going to take,” McDowell said. “I’m assuming they put some water on this place this morning. And we were able to take advantage of that a little bit early on and actually think about getting at some of those flags.”

Brandt Snedeker, who had a chance at 30 on his front nine, had to settle for being part of a large group at 69 that included 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson.

The 15 players to shoot in the 60s were the most for an opening round at the U.S. Open since 24 players did it at rain-softened Olympia Fields in 2003.

Phil Mickelson, in his latest quest to win the one major keeping him from the career Grand Slam, shot a 70. He was among the early starters, who received additional help by cloud cover that kept moisture in the greens. Mickelson doesn’t expect Pinehurst to be any easier the rest of the week.

“There was some low scoring out there — some good scoring, I should say,” he said. “Anything around par, it’s usually a good score.”

Masters champion Bubba Watson was among the exceptions. He shot a 76 and said, “This course is better than me right now.”

The sun broke through shortly before noon and began to bake the course, though not enough to stop Kaymer. He watched some of the tournament on television in the morning, and he was particularly struck by the sight of Stenson’s 6-iron into the par-3 15th only rolling out a few feet. Kaymer expected it to roll off the green.

“Last night I thought that it’s going to be very, very firm in the afternoon,” he said. “But actually, it was more playable than I thought.”

Not everyone was able to take advantage.

Defending champion Justin Rose had a 72, making his bid a little tougher to become the first repeat winner in 25 years. Adam Scott, the world No. 1 who has been formidable in every major the last two years except the U.S. Open, had a 73.

Scott wasn’t about to panic. Pinehurst only figures to get more difficult.

“You know how it’s going to be at the end of the week,” Scott said. “We’re going to be looking at even par, or something around that.”

Kaymer picked up four birdies with relative ease — three wedges to inside 3 feet, and a high draw with a 3-wood to about 20 feet on the par-5 fifth for a two-putt birdie. A few longer putts at the end really dressed up the score.

He hit a 6-iron at the flag on the 16th hole and made a 12-foot birdie putt, and then hit another 6-iron at the par-3 17th to about 10 feet for birdie.

Kaymer tied the course record with a 63 in the opening round when he won The Players Championship last month, ending a drought of some 18 months. That only boosted his confidence, and the 65 on Thursday only adds to it.

Even so, he realizes it’s only one round, and that the course probably won’t be so kind or gentle the rest of the way.

“I would have never expected myself to shoot such a low round at Pinehurst … but it’s a good round of golf,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting it. I’m not freaking out about it. It’s the first round of a very, very important tournament. I put myself so far in a good position, but we have three rounds to go. The golf course can change a lot.

“If other people want to make more out of it, it’s fine,” he said. “But for me, it’s a great start into one of the most important weeks of the year.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
County honors Meadows Trigueiro as Woman of the Year

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Police shut down Fairfield street after shooting

By Glen Faison | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Celebrity chef motivates Armijo students

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Bridge work to shut down Highway 12 east of Rio Vista

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Highway 12 Association to meet this month

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

Caltrans reschedules work on J-Mack Ferry

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
State schedules work on Highway 12

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
 
 
Robots, raucous businessmen set to arrive on big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Teen hit by SUV remains in hospital

By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

 
College looks at Measure Q project changes

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A9

 
 
Fairfield police log: March 2, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

Fairfield police log: March 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Feb. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun police log: March 2, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: March 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Feb. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Enrollment of non-residents to be capped at some UC campuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

US / World

California survey finds Sierra snowpack far below normal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
California shuts down oil wells to protect ground water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Ex-CIA chief admits sharing military secrets with mistress

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
Netanyahu warns US ‘bad deal’ would put Iran on nuclear path

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Mines, bombs slow Iraqi advance on Islamic State-held Tikrit

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

India orders TV stations not to give rapist a platform

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Health officials perplexed by vaccination skeptics

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

Lawmakers taking another crack at expanding gun checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
California lawmakers show wide discrepancy in missed votes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Agents target industry helping Chinese women have US babies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
Family of girl declared brain-dead sues Oakland hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

US marshals say man killed by Los Angeles police was wanted

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
72 passengers reach settlements in Asiana crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

.

Opinion

Editorial cartoon: March 3-4, 2015

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
Minority outreach that works

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Israelis worry about inequality, not Iran

By Daniel Gordis | From Page: A11, 3 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: March 4, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: March 4, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Mushrooms are nutrient-packed, with a deep, savory flavor

By The Washington Post | From Page: B5

 
Get ready to add white to the rainbow of produce you eat

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: March 4, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

My husband and I want different things in our retirement

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

Apollo to celebrate Holiday birthday

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Oprah’s Chicago studios to close down

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Fashion week moves Milan to Paris

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

.

Sports

Vanden girls roll, advance to SJS championship game

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1

 
Bumgarner hit hard in spring debut, A’s beat Giants 9-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kings bring back former player Divac in front-office role

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

No ‘floating rubbish’ collection for Olympic sailing venue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cal senior Reshanda Gray named Pac-12 Player of the Year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rudy Gay, Kings hand Knicks worst loss of season, 124-86

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cubs’ scramble on Wrigley Field hits bump when mayor balks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders officially release S Tyvon Branch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Trooper: Fingerprints show victim in Hernandez’s rented car

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Play ball! Quickly! Baseball tries to speed game this spring

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Australian rugby star Hayne signs 3-year deal with 49ers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Maid: Hernandez messed with security camera after killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Business

Oil glut could soon lead to plummeting prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
.

Obituaries

Jacqueline Mendes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Robert C. Thierry

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Garland (Curly) Henry Tackett

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Otto Vasak

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

John Henry Fechter, Jr.

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7