Kaymer six ahead with nine holes left at U.S. Open

Sun Jun 15, 2014 7:34pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

PINEHURST North Carolina (Reuters) - Germany's Martin Kaymer, ice-cool in sweltering heat, moved closer to his second major victory by stretching his overnight lead to six shots midway through Sunday's final round at the U.S. Open.

Five ahead at the start of another humid day at Pinehurst Resort, the 29-year-old from Dusseldorf mixed two birdies with a lone bogey to reach the turn in one-under-par 34.

That left Kaymer at nine under for the championship, with American journeyman Erik Compton, a double heart-transplant recipient who has played mainly on the satellite tours, alone in second, also after completing nine holes.

Long-hitting Dustin Johnson was a further stroke back at two under after 11 holes, with compatriot Rickie Fowler (nine holes) and Swede Henrik Stenson (10 holes) level at one under.

However, the tournament was Kaymer's to win or lose as he headed into the final nine holes with a commanding lead after mixing aggressive golf when possible with careful recovery work as and when needed over the front nine.

Kaymer, watched by several LPGA Tour players including fellow German Sandra Gal and former women's world number one Yani Tseng as he teed off in the final round, did well to salvage par at the treacherous second hole.

After his second shot from a native waste area bounced over the back right of the green, he putted up to 10 feet and coolly sank the putt to stay at eight under.

The German then drove the green at the 313-yard, par-four third and narrowly missed his eagle attempt from 35 feet before tapping in for birdie to move six strokes clear at nine under.   Continued...

Martin Kaymer of Germany hits his second shot on the 18th hole during the third round of the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament in Pinehurst, North Carolina, June 14, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Segar