Kaymer happy to cede U.S. Open spotlight to Spieth, McIlroy

Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:39pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

UNIVERSITY PLACE, Washington (Reuters) - Martin Kaymer will defend his U.S. Open title this week at Chambers Bay but is happy for players such as Masters champion Jordan Spieth and world number one Rory McIlroy to command the spotlight.

Germany's Kaymer confirmed his status as one of the game's very best by coasting to his second major victory, by eight shots in last year's U.S. Open at Pinehurst, though he has since failed to replicate that commanding form.

"A lot of times I'm under the radar, I feel like, which is fine," Kaymer told reporters on Tuesday while preparing for Thursday's opening round. "The other guys, they should get a lot of credit for what they have done.

"Obviously Jordan, what he has done this year, must have felt for the others how I played Pinehurst. It was impressive to watch (at the Masters) that he didn't miss many putts. He played very aggressive down the stretch the last few holes."

American Spieth, at the age of 21, clinched his first major title with a stunning wire-to-wire victory by four shots at the Masters, matching Tiger Woods' tournament record low of 18-under 270 for 72 holes.

"Then what Rickie (Fowler) did at the Players, how brave he played," said Kaymer, referring to American Fowler's stunning playoff win at the Players Championship in May when he finished regulation play eagle-birdie-birdie.

"And then obviously Rory (who won the last two major titles of 2014). Those guys, they're all four or five years younger than me so they should get the credit for what they have achieved.

"My win was already 12 months ago. What they've done more recently is more important than my win last year."   Continued...

Jun 16, 2015; University Place, WA, USA; Martin Kaymer addresses the media in a press conference during practice rounds on Tuesday at Chambers Bay. Mandatory Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports