TribLIVE

| Sports

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Martin Kaymer leads U.S. Open after Round 1

Getty Images
Martin Kaymer hits his tee shot on the 13th hole during the first round of the 114th U.S. Open on June 12, 2014, at Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C.

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Thursday, June 12, 2014, 8:27 p.m.
 

PINEHURST, N.C. — There was something unusual in the opening round of the U.S. Open.

A bunch of scores in the 60s.

The best one was turned in by Martin Kaymer.

His confidence spurred by a win at The Players Championship, Kaymer birdied three of the last five holes Thursday for a 5-under-par 65, the lowest score from any of the three Opens played at Pinehurst No. 2.

The German got up and down for par at the 18th hole, rolling in a testy 6-foot putt to beat the 66 shot by Sweden's Peter Hedblom during the second round in 2005.

Graeme McDowell, Kevin Na and Brendon de Jonge and Fran Quinn were three shots back.

Kaymer beat a loaded field at The Players last month, snapping a stretch of 29 tournaments without a victory stretching over 18 months.

“I needed a win,” Kaymer said. “Whether it was The Players or a regular PGA Tour event, I just needed it for my confidence, for all the hard work I've put in the last couple of years.”

Ten other players were in the clubhouse at 69, meaning there were more under-par rounds in this opening round than the last two years combined.

At Merion a year ago, only five players broke par on Thursday.

At Olympic Club in 2012, there were just six scores in the 60s.

No one expected Pinehurst to stay this inviting through the weekend.

“There was some moisture on the greens, and you were able to hold shots,” Na said. “I was able to capitalize on a good tee time. But there's a long way to go. Obviously, I'm 2-under-par right now, but at the end of the tournament even-par is going to win this championship.”

That's still a good bet.

The last two Open champions finished over par.

Pittsburgh-born Brendon Todd shot 1-under 69 and is tied for sixth.

Phil Mickelson got off to a strong start as well in his bid for the career Grand Slam, attacking the course with deft iron shots on the way to a 70.

McDowell, who won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in 2010, was as steady as can be on this Donald Ross masterpiece, which has undergone a drastic makeover to restore its rustic look, with patches of natural vegetation — better known as weeds — taking the place of thick, lush rough.

The Northern Irishman bounced back from his only bogey at No. 4 with an eagle at the par-5 fifth hole. He added another birdie at the 14th, and the rest of his card was filled in with pars, just the sort of solid, mistake-free golf that is required in the U.S. Open.

“You don't have to strike it amazing around here,” McDowell said. “You just have to position the ball correctly at all times.”

Na also made an eagle at No. 5 on the way to the best Open round of his career. He missed the cuts in 2010 and 2011, and finished 9-over at his last Open two years ago.

After thick cloud cover made things easier for the morning players, the blistering sun broke through and the temperature climbed to 90 by mid-afternoon. Still, there were low scores to be had, with 20-year-old Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Henrik Stenson among the big group at 69.

Not everyone was thriving. The world's top-ranked player, Adam Scott, shot 73. Masters champion Bubba Watson sprayed shots all over the place on the way to a 76.

Spieth was in the thick of things again, making four birdies to put himself in contention at another major.

He was tied for the lead heading to the final round of the Masters and The Players Championship but couldn't close out either on Sunday.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
  2. Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
  3. Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions
  4. Teenage boys arrested in connection with armed robberies in Shadyside
  5. ‘Greed is not criminal,’ says judge in McCullough trial
  6. Work release inmate walks away from Armstrong County Jail
  7. Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless
  8. Pittsburgh authority hires firm to end long vacancy at North Shore retail space
  9. Multiple delays to slow travel between Alle-Kiski Valley, Greensburg
  10. Police: Avonmore mayor found stranger’s lost wallet, took cash from it
  11. Connellsville man arrested for firing handgun at city’s East Park