Martin Kaymer win US Open 2014: German golfer eases through lap of honour to claim second major crown

German adds US Open title to US PGA honours after rebuilding game following tumble down the rankings

Martin Kaymer is the US Open champion. Like him, you probably knew that on Friday when the foundations of this coruscating win were laid with that opening pair of 65s. Yesterday’s saunter around Pinehurst was effectively a lap of honour, a tour of duty required merely to formalise arrangements.

The lead, which stood at five at the start of the day, was not remotely under threat. To re-inforce his pre-eminence he drove the green at the par-four third to set up a tap-in birdie. Get back in your box was the message conveyed to those notionally in pursuit. Successive birdies on the back nine at 13 and 14 took him to 10 under par, out of sight as well as reach.

For those counting he won by eight in the end after a final round of 69, one of only three players to finish under par. So at 29 Kaymer is a two-time major champion, the US Open coming four years after his first triumph on this continent at the US PGA Championship.

Kaymer’s is a story that offers hope to all, a young man who tasted success early without quite understanding how. A period of destructive introspection and swing changes saw him tumble down the rankings from No1 in the world to 63. Only this year, after almost two years in the wilderness, did he begin to piece the puzzle back together. His win at the Players Championship last month presaged the monumental display here.

The secret has been to step back from analysis and to trust his instinct for the game. Though his swing has been reconstructed to a heightened level of excellence, the greatest gain is the understanding that not every ball comes out of the sweet spot, and when the game is on he knows how to get out of his own way.

The emphatic win is not what this tournament is ordinarily about. Only Tiger Woods 14 years ago and Rory McIlroy in 2011 have torn up the austere template. Kaymer’s performance ranks alongside both for its mastery of the conditions and dominance of the field. The spectacle suffered appallingly, but no blame attaches to him for that.

Kaymer’s is a lesson slowly being absorbed by McIlory, who has emerged from an epic slump of his own. McIlroy is hitting the ball as well as he ever has tee to green, but is at odds with himself when he fails to convert the opportunities he creates.

McIlroy was out with Adam Scott, the dream Sunday pairing for which the tournament hoped beforehand. Not on this occasion, sadly. The dam will break soon, maybe in Ireland this week, in Scotland or at the Open at Hoylake, the next stop on the major rosta. Like Kaymer, who began his round with a par, McIlroy has the capacity to erase the field, an unanswerable gear when so engaged. But yesterday was another round of frustration, a 73 leaving him on six over par.

It says much about Matt Fitzpatrick that he was sifting through his US Open experience to establish where it went wrong. This 19-year-old boy had just walked off the 18th green having negotiated the last round of the US Open in 69 strokes, one under par.

He was already the best placed amateur, emulating the silver medal at the Open and the Low Amateur award at the Masters. The last amateur to double up in Britain and America went by the name of Bobby Jones, who, you might say, had something of a career himself.

On the final green his local caddie, Duncan, took his hand and raised it high into the air. The packed gallery responded with emphatic applause. They knew they had witnessed something special. The next time he drops a tee in the ground, this week at the Irish Open in Cork, England’s Fitzpatrick will be putting for pay.

You get the feeling that Russell and Sue, his proud parents observing from the sidelines, will be handing in their notice soon. For now they must return to work when he does, sustained by the marvellous memories they take home from Pinehurst.

Playing alongside their son was 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who laughed when asked what advice he might give the nascent pro. “He doesn’t need any from me. He is a great player already, hits the ball really nicely. He played really well. Anyone who goes around this course under par knows what he is doing,” Oosthuizen said.

Fitzpatrick is a slip of a lad with a face yet to engage in meaningful exchanges with a razor. You would fear for his safety going to the park alone, let alone setting about Pinehurst. Yet here he was walking up the 18th having had the better of a brutal course.

“It’s been a great week. My aim was to win the Low Amateur, and to achieve it is pretty pleasing,” Fitzpatrick said. “Playing with some of the biggest names, with Phil [Mickelson] and Justin [Rose], a practice round with Rory, playing with Louis on the last day, yeah, it’s been great.

“I read the other day that I was 10 per cent higher than the average in greens in regulation so that was a nice positive. I’m not too sure what went wrong this week. I would say I didn’t hole enough putts, but at the same time I’ve had previous weeks where it’s been the other way around. The week that it all comes together is the week where you play your best, I guess.”

Sounds like a tour vet already.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
peopleComedian launches stinging attack on PM
Life and Style
The collection displayed Versace’s softer side, with models wearing flowers and chiffon dresses in unusual colourings
fashionVersace haute couture review
Arts and Entertainment
'The Leaf'
artYes, it's a leaf, but a potentially very expensive one
Yoko Ono at the Royal Festival Hall for Double Fantasy Live
people'I wont let him destroy memory of John Lennon or The Beatles'
Could Greece leave the EU?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'