After his incredible performance on the first day of the 2014 U.S. Open everyone, including Martin Kaymer, expected things to be different in the second round on Friday. Well, so much for that. After rained softened the terrain at Pinehurst Resort even more after the first round, Kaymer adjusted his game accordingly and blew away the field again with another five-under-par performance for a commanding eight-stroke lead heading into the weekend.
There are still two rounds left to play in the second major of 2014 and the unusual conditions at Pinehurst will undoubtedly bring more surprises on Saturday and Sunday. However, Kaymer proved the uncommon and changing conditions won’t hinder his game, at least not yet.
The best part of Kaymer’s game through the first two rounds was simply playing smart. He didn’t record any eagles or other incredible, leaderboard-changing shots; he overcame a relatively early bogey in the first round with six total birdies and then consistently recorded birdies throughout the second round to steadily increase his lead. Put simply, that’s the approach that will keep him atop the leaderboard throughout Saturday and Sunday.
Among the other players with early tee times, Adam Scott’s solid day was overshadowed by Kaymer as the Australian finished at three under par to get back to even for the tournament. But his round — the second-best of the day by the time Kaymer finished — is just another reminder of how dominant the leader has been thus far.
Overcoming the conditions is required for good golfers to become great and Kaymer has put on a clinic through the first two rounds of the U.S. Open. Unless something drastically changes over the weekend (besides the weather), that should remain the case.