Kaymer five ahead after nine holes in third round

Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:11pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

PINEHURST North Carolina (Reuters) - Martin Kaymer rebounded after making three early bogeys on a difficult day for scoring to lead the U.S. Open by five shots midway through the third round on Saturday.

The 29-year-old German, a commanding six strokes ahead overnight in the season's second major, conjured a miraculous eagle at the par-five fifth to offset some of the early damage and reach the turn in one-over 36.

That left him at nine under for the championship, with American Kevin Na and burly Zimbabwean Brendon de Jonge tied for second as Pinehurst's No. 2 Course firmed up under blazing afternoon sunshine.

Na, who won his only PGA Tour title at the 2011 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, had completed nine holes and de Jonge, yet to win on the U.S. circuit, 11.

American Erik Compton, a double heart-transplant recipient, was at three under after 13 holes, level with Swedish world number two Henrik Stenson, after 11.

Tricky pin positions, many of them tucked away in the corners of the turtleback greens, and slick conditions presented a daunting challenge and only six players in the 67-man field were under par for the day.

Kaymer, seeking his second major title after winning the 2010 PGA Championship, made his first bogey at the treacherous par-four second where he three-putted from long range, just off the front of the green.

That dropped him back to nine under, but still six strokes in front after playing partner Brendon Todd also bogeyed the hole.   Continued...

Martin Kaymer smiles walking from the 8th tee box during the second round of the 2014 U.S. Open golf tournament at Pinehurst Resort Country Club - #2 Course. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports