2014 U.S. Open, Round 1: Martin Kaymer isn't fazed by Pinehurst #2

Martin Kaymer, of Germany, watches his tee shot on the 14th hole during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Martin Kaymer sets US Open record at Pinehurst

Martin Kaymer, of Germany, watches his tee shot on the 14th hole during the first round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

 

The story from Thursday at Pinehurst started with the clothing decision of Rickie Fowler and ended with an amazing round of golf by Martin Kaymer.

Kaymer's round didn't look like it would turn into much, with two birdies and a bogey on his way out, but it was the back nine that saw the 2010 PGA Championship winner go low. His 5-under 65 has him three shots clear of a busy leaderboard, and was much lower than most thought they'd see at any point this week considering how Pinehurst #2 was expected to play.

The question now is, can Kaymer keep his wits for 54 holes and win a second major? The former No. 1 in the world looked like he would be a cautionary tale at one point in his career, but the great play at the 2012 Ryder Cup and his win at the Players Championship this year has seemed to turn everything around, and Thursday was the peak of the Kaymer comeback.

Of course the best round of the day belonged to Martin Kaymer, but the question is the round of the day, and that belongs to a man who sits in a T-16 at the U.S. Open.

Aaron Baddeley's U.S. Open looked over before it even really started, with a triple-bogey on his first hole of the championship. The course definitely had some birdie opportunities out there, but to get off to that bad of a start really puts you in a tough spot and forces you to really grind and focus for the remainder of your day.

Bads did just that, making five birdies to go with two other squares for an opening round 70 and still a great shot at a run at this U.S. Open.

We also have to tip our caps to 49-year-old Fran Quinn, for his 2-under 68. Quinn is a qualifier that has won four times on the Web.com Tour over the years. How long has Quinn been at it as a pro? His best finish at the U.S. Open came all the way back in 1994, when he finished 43rd at Oakmont.

 

GIF: Ridiculously good bunker shot by Rickie Fowler. on Twitpic
GIF: Ridiculously good bunker shot by Rickie Fowler. on Twitpic

Rickie Fowler's ball was buried in the face of this bunker on the 9th, his final hole of the day, but he was able to get a club on it and give himself a really good look at par (unfortunately he didn't convert).

h/t Adam Sarson for the GIF

"If you guys want to see some disasters, you should get a hot dog, Snickers, and Coke and head down to 15, because that's as hard as it can ever get." — Henrik Stenson after his 1-under 69, about the par-3 15th.

Rickie Fowler paid tribute to the late Payne Stewart with this outfit choice on Thursday at the U.S. Open — Getty Images
Rickie Fowler paid tribute to the late Payne Stewart with this outfit choice on Thursday at the U.S. Open — Getty Images

 

The par-5 5th

The USGA decided to move the tees up on No. 5 so that players could go for the only par-5 on the front nine, and it paid off for the players.

Graeme McDowell's eagle was the reason for his 2-under 68, as was the eagle by Kevin Na who sits at 2-under, and it was a must-birdie for the rest of the field.

A cool decision, and a fun break for the players on this tough Pinehurst #2.

 

The second round, of course! Coverage kicks off on ESPN at 9 AM ET, and we will be doing another live blog all day long, so make sure to check back in the morning and be ready for more Pinehurst! 

What to Read Next