US Open 2014 leaderboard: Martin Kaymer left surprised with 'exceptional score' as Ryder Cup hero leads the way on day one - Golf - Sport - The Independent

US Open 2014 leaderboard: Martin Kaymer left surprised with 'exceptional score' as Ryder Cup hero leads the way on day one

Kaymer carded an impressive five-under-par to lead by three shots in the same week that he admitted he would be happy with eight-over across the weekend

Pinehurst

Asked on Wednesday what score he would be happy with after four rounds of the US Open this week, former world number one Martin Kaymer said eight over par.

Two days later the 29-year-old German went into Friday's second round at Pinehurst on five under, after a superb opening 65 containing six birdies and just one bogey.

Kaymer, who won the US PGA in August 2010 and became world number one for eight weeks the following February, became just the fourth European to win the Players Championship in 41 years last month.

And the man who ensured Europe would retain the Ryder Cup after the 'Miracle at Medinah' in 2012 reproduced the form he displayed at Sawgrass on Thursday, his 65 beating the previous lowest score in a US Open at Pinehurst of 66 by Peter Hedblom in 2005.

"When you win the Players it's pretty much as if you have won a major, the way the field is," said Kaymer, who equalled the course record with an opening 63 at Sawgrass.

"I needed a win, whether it was the Players or a PGA Tour event for my confidence, to feel it's worth it for all the hard work I have put in over the last couple of years. That was a nice, huge win and coming into the US Open and the next few weeks with big events it's nice if you've just won before. I'm very happy.

"I got asked what score I would take for the whole week and I said eight over par, so hopefully that's not going to happen. The course played more difficult on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - they must have put more water on the greens last night.

"It's an exceptional score and very nice to lead the tournament, but I was very surprised the course played fairly soft."

Until Kaymer's late surge - he birdied the 14th, 16th and 17th - Graeme McDowell's early 68 looked set to give him a share of the clubhouse lead alongside Americans Kevin Na and Fran Quinn and Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge.

And, after watching the 2010 champion plot his way around the course, playing partner Rory McIlroy backed his fellow Northern Irishman to challenge for a second major title.

"G-Mac didn't start the best but made that eagle on the fifth," said McIlroy, who returned a 71. "He gets the most out of it and misses it in the right places, has a really good short game, holes big momentum putts to keep his run going.

"This is his ideal sort of tournament, grinding it out, and the winning score not being too much under par. He knows how to do that well."

US Open Leaderboard after Day One:

5 under - Martin Kaymer (Ger) (after 18 holes)

2 under - Francis Quinn (USA) (18)

Kevin Na (USA) (18)

Brendon De Jonge (18)

Graeme McDowell (Nirl) (18)

1 under - Francesco Molinari (Ita) (18)

Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) (18)

Matt Kuchar (USA) (18)

Harris English (USA) (18)

Dustin Johnson (USA) (18)

Keegan Bradley (USA) (18)

Brendon Todd (USA) (18)

Brandt Snedeker (USA) (18)

Henrik Stenson (Swe) (18)

Jordan Spieth (USA) (18)

Level - Seung-yul Noh (Kor) (18)

Joost Luiten (Ned) (18)

Danny Willett (Eng) (18)

Russell Henley (USA) (18)

Jimmy Walker (USA) (18)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea