Kaymer cruises to US Open victory

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iol spt pic KAYMER_GOLF-US OPEN-_0616_11~1 REUTERS Martin Kaymer of Germany lifts his trophy after winning the US Open Championship golf tournament in Pinehurst, North Carolina. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

Pinehurst, North Carolina - Martin Kaymer of Germany won the 114th US Open Sunday, finishing his four-day wire-to-wire sweep at 9-under par, eight strokes ahead of his nearest competitor.

The 2010 PGA champ, who dominated the first two rounds of the tournament with a record-setting 36-hole score of 130, finished the fourth round with a 1-under par 69, bringing his total score to 271 over 72 holes, the second lowest score in US Open history.

Tied for second place at 1-under were Erik Compton and Rickie Fowler of the United States.

They went into Sunday tied for second and both shot 1-under 69s in the final round. Kaymer, 29, becomes the first continental European to ever win the US Open.

He's also only the third Open champion to have led from beginning to end of the tournament, joining Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.

“I played very brave,” Kaymer said. “I didn't make many mistakes, you know, the last two wins that I had in America, especially this week.”

His last victory in America was the Players championship on Mother's Day last month. Sunday's US Open victory happened on Father's Day.

There was a five-way tie for fourth at 1-over, including Americans Keegan Bradley, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, as well as Australian Jason Day and world number two Swede Henrik Stenson.

Compton, 34, was playing in only his second major championship, having missed the cut at the 2010 Open at Pebble Beach - two years after his second heart transplant.

He earned an invitation to the Masters tournament in April after his performance this week at Pinehurst. Compton and Fowler traded second place throughout the day, with Compton coming within four strokes of Kaymer at one juncture.

Compton finished with three birdies and five bogeys, while Fowler had three birdies, three bogeys and a double bogey on the 4th hole.

“No one was catching Kaymer this week,” ESPN quoted Compton as saying. “I was playing for second. I think we all were playing for second.”

“Martin was playing his own tournament,” Fowler added.

A total of 11 players finished under par in the fourth round, compared to only two on Saturday.

Twenty-one-year-old Daniel Berger of the US carded a 66 Sunday, the second-best score of the tournament.

Jim Furyk, Bradley Keegan and South African Louis Oosthuizen shot 3-under 67s, while Australian Jason Day shot a 68.

And joining Kaymer at 69 for the day were Jimmy Walker, Cody Gribble, Brendan Todd, Matthew Fitzpatrick and world number one Adam Scott.

It was Scott's first top-10 finish at the Open in a dozen attempts.

“The difference between playing good and playing just okay at a US Open is magnified 10 times from a normal tournament. You can play okay and shoot under par elsewhere. Here, you play okay, you shoot 4- or 5-over and don't feel like you did too much wrong,” Scott said.

Fitzpatrick, the only amateur to make the cut, was awarded the Low Amateur Medal. He is the first player since Bob Jones in 1930 to hold the low-amateur honors at both the British Open (2013) and US Open concurrently.

Shot of the day went to Zach Johnson of the US, who holed the 44th ace in US Open history on the 9th hole.

Ironically, his playing partner Kenny Perry was playing with Peter Jacobsen when Jacobsen aced the same hole at the Open held in Pinehurst in 2005.

2013 Open champion Justin Rose of England shot a 2-over 72 for day, finishing at 3-over for the tournament.

Sapa-dpa



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