Essential recap of Martin Kaymer's smashing U.S. Open performance!
Going coast to coast and winning by 8 in a U.S. Open!? That's unbelieveable! How did he do it?
1. He was created in a secret underground factory in Dusseldorf, Germany
1. He's a money putter
- 27.5 putts/round (1.53/hole) vs. field average 30.42 (1.69).
- 17 guys beat his GIR average of 62.5% for the week! So we know it wasn't his ballstriking that won it (aside: Henrik Stenson's smoked in this category with a whopping 75%! He REALLY needs a putting lesson).
2. He stayed out of the "real" bunkers
- Only 5 bunkers for the week. Lowest in the field (tied with Erik Compton and Graeme McDowell).
- This is evidence of playing smart - chipping out to the fairway on errant drives and missing greens on the correct sides. Which leads to...
3. No double bogeys all week
If it's 2019 and you're curious what happened in the 2014 Open, here's what you should know...
When Kaymer made eagle on number 5 on Saturday. Why was it such a huge moment? For starters, he had a very shaky start. He did very well to only go +2 on the first 4 holes, and had badly pulled his drive into the sandy waste area on the left on 5. So negating those bogeys and overcoming that drive was huge for his score and confidence. More importantly, however, it was Exhibit A to the fact that he can hit a draw, on-call, under pressure now. That was his goal when he deconstructed his swing in 2011 and has been attributed as the driving factor for his ensuing 2-year semi-slump. So the second shot long-iron draw into the green showed the he had attained his goal: the draw. And what a beautiful shot it was.
It was over when...
After he made back to back birdies on 13 and 14 on Sunday. He could have shot 40 on the back nine in which case others may have played differently and applied more pressure. He did make a mess of the Par 5 10th, but after dropping 2 bombs back-to-back it was all over.
Some remarkable context to Martin's scoring / the difference between pros and amateurs / the importance of short game...
- He hit 11 greens on Thursday and shot 65. Impressive.
- He hit 9 greens on a closeout Sunday at the US Open and shot 69. Outstanding.
Summary: This is just the beginning
Kaymer is too talented and too strong mentally to not win (at least) 5 majors.
He has no weaknesses! He's a phenomenal athlete (he basically told Tom Rinaldi in his interview afterward that he thought he could have made the German World Cup Fútbol team). He's long off the tee. He's an excellent putter. He's patient and super cool under the gun. He can hit it both ways...
...and he's battle tested.
- Playoff? Check. 2010 PGA.
- Must-make putt to win? Check. 2012 Ryder Cup.
- Final round rain delay adversity? Check. 2014 Players.
- Coast-to-coast blowout? Check. 2014 U.S. Open.
And now...he's got momentum/confidence. Look out below.
As always, you can download the Hole19 GPS iPhone app for free to get all your distances and track stats like a pro.
-- Robert Stewart