Thursday, March 26, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Kaymer protects lead on tough day at Pinehurst

By
From page B1 | June 15, 2014 |

PINEHURST, N.C. — Not even Martin Kaymer was immune from a Pinehurst No. 2 course that restored the reputation of a U.S. Open.

He threw enough counterpunches Saturday to leave him on the cusp of his second major.

On a broiling day with some wicked pin positions that yielded only two rounds under par, Kaymer rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to salvage a 2-over 72 and take a five-shot lead into the final round.

Only one player in U.S. Open history has lost a five-shot lead in the final round, and that was 95 years go.

“I didn’t play as well as the first two days, but I kept it together,” Kaymer said.

That was all that was required on a day when the U.S. Open finally looked like the toughest test in golf. Kaymer hit a 7-iron from the sandy area left of the fairway on the par-5 fifth hole to set up a 5-foot eagle putt, and his birdie on the final hole put him at 8-under 202.

Only the names of challengers changed, but they were sure to stir up the crowd — and the emotions.

Erik Compton, a two-time heart transplant recipient and perhaps the most remarkable story on the PGA Tour, rolled in a 40-foot putt on the 11th hole for one of his six birdies in a round of 67. He was tied at 3-under 207 with Rickie Fowler, a fan favorite of young American golf fans, who also had a 67.

Fowler will play in the final group of a major for the first time.

Only six players remained under par, and considering no one has come from more than seven shots behind in the final round to win a U.S. Open, they might be the only ones left with a realistic chance to catch the 29-year-old German.

Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson each shot 70 and were at 2-under 208. Brandt Snedeker had a 72 and was another shot behind.

Asked how much that birdie mattered on the 18th hole, Kaymer said, “One shot.”

“If you’re four shots, five shots, six shots, if you play a golf course like this, it can be gone very quickly,” he said. “You could see it today. So the challenge tomorrow is to keep going and not try to defend anything. So we’ll see how it will react tomorrow, how the body feels and how I handle the situation.”

Kaymer had his way with a softer, more gentle Pinehurst No. 2 by becoming the first player to open with 65s to set the 36-hole record at 10-under 130. Some players wondered what tournament he was playing.

There was no doubt what it was on Saturday.

“They’ve set it up so that no one can go low,” Retief Goosen said after a 71. “Some of the pins look like they’re about to fall off the greens.”

Toru Taniguchi shot an 88. Brendon Todd, playing in the final group with Kaymer, had a 79.

Phil Mickelson had a 73 and was 13 shots out of the lead. He’ll have to wait until next year to pursue the only major keeping him from the career Grand Slam. Adam Scott, the world No. 1, made bogey on all but one of the par 3s and was 11 shots behind.

Kaymer nearly joined the parade of players going the wrong direction.

He ended an amazing streak of 29 holes without a bogey by failing to get up-and-down from short of the second green. Trouble really was brewing on the fourth hole, when he pulled his tee shot into the trees and couldn’t play his next shot.

The ball settled in a washed-out section of sand, next to a 6-inch pile of pine straw. He took a one-shot penalty only after learning he could move the pine straw as loose impediments before he took his drop.

“It’s all loose. How should I know what’s not loose,” he asked USGA President Tom O’Toole.

He punched out to the fairway and holed a 15-foot putt to escape with bogey. In the sandy area again on the next hole, Kaymer ripped a 7-iron from 202 yards that caught the front portion of the green and stopped pin-high for his eagle.

His long birdie putt on the par-3 sixth rolled off the back of the green for another bogey, and Kaymer dropped two more shots with three-putt bogeys, one of them from just off the green at No. 15. He also saved par with two putts from off the green, and the birdie was big.

Mike Brady is the only other player to lose a five-shot lead. That was in 1919 at Brae Burn Country Club in Massachusetts. He shot 80 in the last round, and Walter Hagen beat him the next day in a playoff.

Compton has never won on the PGA Tour, though just playing is a victory for a guy on his third heart. Compton had a heart attack and drove himself to the hospital before his most recent transplant seven years ago.

“I think that my attitude suits a U.S. Open-style course because I don’t ever give up,” Compton said.

Compton, Brendon de Jonge and Kevin Na were the only players to reach 4-under par in their pursuit of Kaymer. Only Compton managed to stay close. De Jonge bogeyed four of his last seven holes, while Na took two double bogeys in the last five holes.

 

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

Vacaville honors top cops, support staff

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Kings honor Rankin, Mustangs

By Paul Farmer | From Page: A2, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Fairfield mall to host first aid kit assembly party

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Fairfield PD chief to address Solano GOP

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
New meeting location for family support group

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

 
Padan Elementary demonstrates new school culture

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Fairfield police log: March 24, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A7

Suisun City police log: March 24, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A7

 
Frustration permeates college contract negotiations

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A7 | Gallery

.

US / World

Vallejo woman’s story a hoax, police say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 5 Comments

 
Deceased woman’s video supports Wolk’s bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Man threatened suicide before shooting officer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

.

Opinion

 
We deserve freedom to choose our fate

By Kelvin Wade | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: March 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: March 26, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

After several years, my nieces now live with their father and are miserable

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes: March 26, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

David Crosby in car accident with jogger

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Contract not renewed for ‘Top Gear’ host

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Felicity Jones excited, tight-lipped about Star Wars role

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Sports

Local report: Rodriguez boys swim past Vintage

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Prep badminton preview: City teams making their marks

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
6 teams with 10 or more losses most ever to reach Sweet 16

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

After 1st division title in 39 years, Warriors want more

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Change to extra points likely in NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bills to honor late owner Wilson with life-sized statue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tulowitzki homers, Butler strong in Rockies’ win over Giants

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Elliott heads to Martinsville to attempt 1st Sprint Cup race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Alameda County to join talks about new Oakland stadium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rio mayor unveils controversial Olympic golf course

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Joe Gibbs’ son being treated for ‘brain function’ issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

America’s Cup organizers want smaller, cheaper boats

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Gomez uses offense and defense, leads Brewers past A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cal to host UC Davis in 2019, Cal Poly in 2020

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lanny McDonald selected as chairman of Hockey Hall of Fame

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Serena Williams hoping to play at Miami Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Howard Leon Carnes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9