U.S. Open Tracker: Kaymer leads after 1st round

Martin Kaymer during Thursday's first round of the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.
Martin Kaymer during Thursday's first round of the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst. ( Associated Press )

Friday, June 13, 2014

World No. 1 Adam Scott. Two-time Masters champ Bubba Watson. Reigning Open Championship victor Phil Mickelson. Can any of them solve Pinehurst?

Thursday to start the U.S. Open, Martin Kaymer held all the cards in a 5-under 65 that vaulted him to the top of the leaderboard late.

Recap the highlights from the U.S. Open right here – and scroll down for our preview coverage of all things Pinehurst!

• • •

Update #48: 6:43 p.m.

Martin Kaymer finishes his day with a par for a 65 that sets the record for a U.S. Open round at Pinehurst – and has him three shots clear of the field as he heads to the clubhouse.

Of the top 10 players in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, only Tiger Woods is missing from the field at Pinehurst. Let's check in on the other nine and their first round at the U.S. Open today:

1. Adam Scott: T-71, 3-over 73

2. Bubba Watson: T-125, 6-over 76

3. Steve Stricker: T-16, even-par 70

4. Jason Day: T-71, 3-over 73

5. Sergio Garcia: T-71, 3-over 73

6. Matt Kuchar: T-6, 1-under 69

8. Henrik Stenson: T-6, 1-under 69

9. Jim Furyk: T-71, 3-over 73

10. Justin Rose: T-56, 2-over 72

• • •

Update #47: 6:25 p.m.

And leader Martin Kaymer's sixth birdie of the day pushes him to 5 under, giving him a three-shot cushion as he heads to the 18th.

• • •

Update #46: 6:17 p.m.

Make it a two-shot lead for Martin Kaymer, after he birdies No. 16 to move to 4 under. Kaymer has birdied two of his last three holes, giving him five today against one bogey. He's two shots clear of Brendon de Jonge, Graeme McDowell and Kevin Na.

• • •

Update #46: 6:11 p.m.

Dustin Johnson wraps up a first round of 69 with three straight pars to stand T-6 at 1 under alongside a dozen competitors.

Paul Casey gets back to 2 under with two holes to play, thanks to a birdie at No. 7; he's among four players who are a shot back of leader Martin Kaymer.

• • •

Update #45: 5:54 p.m.

Hello again, Martin Kaymer. The winner of this year's Players Championship (aka the "fifth major") has moved to the outright lead with a birdie at No. 14. He's 3 under, with three players a shot back.

• • •

Update #44: 5:23 p.m.

The list of co-leaders at 2 under is pared to four – with the players still on the course at that mark nearly completely turning over. Graeme McDowell and Kevin Na, both in the clubhouse with 68s, are joined by Brendon de Jonge and Martin Kaymer.

Keegan Bradley, who had led outright at 3 under, is among those a shot off the lead after back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 11-12.

• • •

Update #43: 5:01 p.m.

Graeme McDowell moved to the early lead today and already wonders what's in store tomorrow – wondering aloud via his Twitter account, @Graeme_McDowell: "Lowest opening round scoring average since Olympia Fields? Thinking the #USGA may forget to turn on the sprinkler system later..... #firmer"

Ian Poulter also found things to his liking en route to shooting even par Thursday, posting via @IanJamesPoulter: "Greens were so surprisingly soft today. Amazing how they have kept them moist. Temp little cooler with some cloud cover. Set up was pure."

Apparently it's not drying out too much for Keegan Bradley, but he slips to a tie for the lead at 2 under with McDowell and six others as he bogeys at No. 11.

• • •

Update #42: 4:51 p.m.

Martin Kaymer gets back to 2 under with a birdie at No. 10, pulling him within a shot of Keegan Bradley and to T-2 with seven others.

• • •

Update #41: 4:37 p.m.

Keegan Bradley steps into the outright lead with a birdie at No. 10 that pushes him to 3 under. Six players are a shot back: Paul Casey, Jason Dufner, Graeme McDowell, Kevin Na, Seung-Yul Noh and Fran Quinn.

• • •

Update #40: 4:32 p.m.

Paul Casey quietly found a share of the lead with a 2-under tour of the back nine, then following with two pars after making the turn.

• • •

Update #39: 4:09 p.m.

Who had Fran Quinn in their U.S. Open pool? The pro out of Holden, Mass., advanced out of sectional qualifying and is par of a seven-way tie for the lead at 2 under after birdies at Nos. 12 and 14.

• • •

Update #38: 3:49 p.m.

Jason Dufner, the reigning PGA Championship victor, gets his day to 1 under with birdies at Nos. 5-6. He's one back of the lead and among 15 players who are T-23.

Our David Dusek points out on Twitter: "To say the leaderboard is bunched up is an under-statement: The lead is -2 and 51 players are at even-par or better."

• • •

Update #37: 3:37 p.m.

Pencil in J.B. Holmes among the co-leaders, notes our David Dusek via his Twitter account, @Golfweek_Dusek: "Holmes birdies 16 to create a 7-way tie for the lead at -2 at the #USOpen."

Dusek also offers a tidbit on Pinehurst: "While 11 is the toughest hole today, the easiest has been the 576-yard par-5 5th. For pros, par 5s are a gift from the Golf Gods."

• • •

Update #36: 3:27 p.m.

Another bogey at the eighth hole, this time by Dustin Johnson as he drops a stroke out of the lead to T-7 at 1 under – among 18 players on that mark.

• • •

Update #35: 3:14 p.m.

Brooks Koepka bogeys the eighth hole and we're back to a group of co-leaders at 2 under – seven of them, in fact, with two in the clubhouse after a 68 in Graeme McDowell and Kevin Na. The others: Keegan Bradley, Dustin Johnson, Martin Kaymer and Seung-Yul Noh.

• • •

Update #34: 3:09 p.m.

Our Adam Schupak is with one of the afternoon spotlight groups and checks in via his Twitter account, @GolfweekSchupak: "Adam Scott into red figures with tap-in 2 putt birdie at 5. Charl back to even after near chip-in. Bubba settles for par. +1."

• • •

Update #33: 2:56 p.m.

Leader Brooks Koepka remains out front with pars at Nos. 6-7. Koepka won three times last year on the European Challenge Tour to earn his European Tour card, where he's made four starts this season. He has since gone on to earn special temporary status on the PGA Tour this year.

• • •

Update #32: 2:40 p.m.

The course is getting crisper by the moment, our Nick Masuda notes, as the cloud cover burned off in the late morning and sun has been hitting it for a good couple hours now. There are rain clouds lingering, although there seems to be some kind of force field around Pinehurst No. 2, as the course avoided the thunderstorms yesterday as well. While scores are looking nice for the afternoon wave, Pinehurst's teeth are turning into fangs that will bite plenty of players as we edge toward evening in North Carolina.

• • •

Update #31: 2:32 p.m. EDT

Brooks Koepka, the former Florida State standout, eagles No. 5 to move to 3 under and take the lead outright. Dustin Johnson birdies No. 5 to move to T-2 at 2 under alongside four others.

• • •

Update #30: 2:11 p.m. EDT

Jim Furyk birdies Nos. 11 and 13 to get to 2 under in a hurry, tying for the lead alongside Graeme McDowell and Kevin Na.

• • •

Update #29: 2:04 p.m. EDT

Sergio Garcia got some mention as a potential champion at Pinehurst but opened with a 3-over 73. He found the silver lining after his round, posting via his Twitter account, @TheSergioGarcia: "The good news of today are that my knee felt better and the bad ones are that I didn't play too good!"

Matt Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, has the early angle on low amateur with a 1-over 71.

• • •

Update #28: 1:43 p.m. EDT

The T-3 group at 1 under, a shot back of co-leaders Graeme McDowell and Kevin Na, has blossomed to 15 players. Six played in the morning and completed rounds of 69: Matt Kuchar, Hideki Matsuyama, Brandt Snedeker, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson and Brendon Todd.

• • •

Update #27: 1:24 p.m. EDT

Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth bogey the 18th, Spieth falling to T-3 at 1 under and Fowler to T-14 at even par despite a creative shot from the greenside bunker.

The attention should start to turn to this afternoon's players, with Dustin Johnson and Jimmy Walker among those who are 1 under early in their rounds.

• • •

Update #26: 1:09 p.m. EDT

Rickie Fowler has done right by the plus-fours he donned today, 1 under through 17 with just one bogey and a shot off the lead with one hole to play – and co-leader Jordan Spieth in his group.

• • •

Update #25: 12:59 p.m. EDT

The leader for much of the day, Matt Kuchar finishes bogey-bogey-par for a 1-under 69 that has him in the T-4 group a shot back of Graeme McDowell, Kevin Na and Jordan Spieth.

Phil Mickelson wraps up a 70 with a bogey-par-bogey-par finish on Pinehurst No. 2's front nine. That's good for T-12 as he heads in.

• • •

Update #24: 12:46 p.m. EDT

Graeme McDowell joins Kevin Na in the clubhouse at 68, tied for the lead with Jordan Spieth – who nearly pulls away with a birdie at No. 7, but comes up about a quarter-turn short with the putt.

The list at 1 under grows to eight players, which might only be the beginning with the afternoon groups getting their day underway.

• • •

Update #22: 12:29 p.m. EDT

Kevin Na birdies No. 9 for a 68 to get back to 2 under and tied for the lead with Graeme McDowell and Jordan Spieth. Rickie Fowler drops from the lead with a bogey at No. 6.

Brandt Snedeker's 69 is the only other round completed under par; he's T-4 alongside four others.

• • •

Update #21: 12:16 p.m. EDT

Bogeys all around give Graeme McDowell the outright lead: Matt Kuchar at No. 17, his second in a row; Phil Mickelson at No. 6, erasing a birdie on the hole prior; and Kevin Na at No. 8.

Jordan Spieth then birdies No. 5 to tie McDowell in the lead – and Rickie Fowler does the same. Don't like the leaderboard at Pinehurst? Wait 5 minutes …

• • •

Update #20: 12:03 p.m. EDT

Matt Kuchar's first bogey of the day comes at No. 16, dropping him to 2 under and into a tie for the lead with Graeme McDowell, Phil Mickelson and Kevin Na.

• • •

Update #19: 11:52 a.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson breaks a string of pars with a birdie at No. 5 to get to 2 under, one back of leader Matt Kuchar, with four holes to play. Mickelson is T-2 with four others: amateur Matt Fitzpatrick, Graeme McDowell, Kevin Na and Brandt Snedeker.

• • •

Update #18: 11:46 a.m. EDT

Roller-coaster day for Brandt Snedeker, who led earlier thanks to a 4-under front nine – then started his back nine with two bogeys and a double. But birdies at Nos. 14 and 16 have him back at 2 under, one off the lead of Matt Kuchar. Story in the making? Or will we see a lot of this during the week at Pinehurst?

• • •

Update #17: 11:29 a.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson has run off seven straight pars since his only bogey of the day dropped him to 1 under; he's among 10 players tied for fourth, two shots back of leader Matt Kuchar.

Our Adam Schupak has a note about Kuchar, Rickie Fowler and Pablo Larrazabal via his Twitter account, @GolfweekSchupak: "Kuchar, @plarrazabal, and @RickieFowlerPGA have all played more than 10 holes without a bogey. Don't expect too many bogey-free cards today."

• • •

Update #16: 11:18 a.m. EDT

Kevin Na chips in for eagle at No. 5 to get to 2 under through 14 holes, one back of leader Matt Kuchar and T-2 with amateur Matt Fitzpatrick.

• • •

Update #15: 11:09 a.m. EDT

Three straight birdies around the turn get Angel Cabrera back to even par. Tough to count out El Pato in a major. He's among 14 players at even, with 12 more under par – including Rickie Fowler, who birdies No. 2 (his 11th hole) to join those ranks.

• • •

Update #14: 10:58 a.m. EDT

With two birdies in his last four holes, Matt Fitzpatrick moves to 2 under and T-3 alongside Jordan Spieth. The Englishman who played briefly at Northwestern will turn pro after the Open concludes, planning on playing in Europe.

• • •

Update #13: 10:52 a.m. EDT

Co-leader Matt Kuchar gives himself another birdie look at the 12th, but the putt misses by maybe 2 inches and he remains 3 under, tied with Henrik Norlander.

• • •

Update #12: 10:41 a.m. EDT

This note from our Adam Schupak via his Twitter account, @golfweekschupak: "For being World No. 2 @henrikstenson (-1) seems to be floating along under the radar this wk. Didn't even visit the media center pre-tourney"

Stenson, who won last year's FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai titles, has two bogeys and three birdies, the latest at No. 11 getting him under par for the second time today.

• • •

Update #11: 10:20 a.m. EDT

Brandt Snedeker three-putts the 10th green for his first bogey of the day, wasting an opportunity on a par 5, dropping back to 3 under and is now tied for the lead with Matt Kuchar.

Jordan Spieth drains a 10-footer on No. 16 for birdie – his third of the day – to move back to 2 under and in a tie for third.

Augusta State product Henrik Norlander, who uses a modified table-top putting stroke, birdied the par-4 fourth hole with an 8-footer to join Spieth at 2 under.

PGA Tour of Canada's Clayton Rask is also T-3 after birdies at Nos. 1 and 4 to start his round. Rask qualified for the Open via the sectional qualifier in Creswell, Ore.

• • •

Update #10: 9:39 a.m. EDT

Brandt Snedeker is treating Pinehurst like any other course on Tour, picking up his fourth birdie on the par-4 8th hole to move to 4 under, two clear of Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth.

Snedeker made his first putter change in nine years prior to the U.S. Open.

Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson drops his first shot of the day, picking up bogey at the par-3 15th hole to fall back to 1 under. His playing competitors, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Justin Rose, follow suit.

• • •

Update #9: 9:19 a.m. EDT

Jordan Spieth also moves to 2 under behind a 10-foot birdie on No. 13, narrowly finding the left side of the cup and falling.

Spieth finished T-2 at the Masters in April and is making his fifth major appearance of his young career.

• • •

Update #8: 9:17 a.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson picks up his second birdie of the day, the latest at the par-4 14th and moves into a tie for second with Matt Kuchard, David Toms and Webb Simpson.

Brandt Snedeker is blitzing the front nine, picking up a birdie on No. 7 to move to 3 under.

• • •

Update #7: 8:50 a.m. EDT

Soon-to-be professional Matthew Fitzpatrick drains a 10-footer for birdie on No. 12 – after nearly jarring his long-iron into the green – and moves to 2 under, tied with Brandt Snedeker for the very early lead at Pinehurst.

Fitzpatrick, the 2013 U.S. Amateur champion, will be making his pro debut next week at the Irish Open.

• • •

Update #6: 8:34 a.m. EDT

The big names are proving their worth early in Round 1, as Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama open with birdies on the par-5 10th.

Meanwhile, Daniel Berger moves back to 1 under with a birdie at No. 7 – the first player to have two birdies in his round.

• • •

Update #5: 8:30 a.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson leaves himself about 30 feet for birdie on No. 11 and simply lags it to 18 inches, settling for a tap-in par.

U.S. Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick is playing in the same group, opening with a birdie and also picking up par at No. 11.

There are nine players at 1 under early in the first round.

• • •

Update #4: 8:10 a.m. EDT

Phil Mickelson sticks his third shot at the par-5 10th to 3 feet and converts on the birdie putt to jump into red figures immediately.

• • •

Update #3: 7:58 a.m. EDT

Half the field will start on the par-5 10th hole, also providing a birdie opportunity, which former Masters champ Zach Johnson takes advantage of, moving into red figures. It'll be key to take advantage of the opportunities when they are there.

• • •

Update #2: 7:55 a.m. EDT

Looks like the par-4 first hole is providing the field an early birdie chance, as Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson all convert on birdie putts to move into the red.

Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell, playing with Simpson, both open with pars.

• • •

Update #1: 7:20 a.m. EDT

This could come in handy as a trivia answer, as Florida State alum Daniel Berger is the first player in the field to record a birdie at the 2014 U.S. Open, picking up a 3 on the par-4 second hole.

Play is underway under cloudy skies.

• • •

Weather forecast

There's a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms for the first round, according to weather.com, with winds expected around 10 mph. The chance of rain is lesser, 20 percent, for the morning rounds – increasing to 50 percent by 4 p.m. EDT.

• • •

Preview coverage: The field

Expert picks: Scott amid varied favorites

Pinehurst is a bit of a mystery, or at least a riddle – and that's reflected in the fact our senior staff's picks range from young up-and-comers to players at their peak including Adam Scottand Bubba Watson to wiley veterans.

Rude: We've got your winner. Here it is.

It’s clear who will win this week’s U.S. Open. Guaranteed. Write it down. Here it is . . . Plus, the club pro who bounds his drives past J.B. Holmes, Padraig Harrington's whereabouts and more.

Mickelson on Pinehurst: 'Best opportunity' to win

With one leg remaining in his quest for the career Grand Slam, Phil Mickelson, a six-time runner-up at the U.S. Open, is back at Pinehurst No. 2, the place where all the close calls began in 1999 and a place that, according to Lefty, provides him the best chance to win.

Watson comfortable on Pinehurst's sandy layout

Bubba Watson called Pinehurst No. 2, this year's U.S. Open venue, the "toughest we'll play." Yet, the two-time Masters champ feels comfortable on the restored Donald Ross gem, likening it to a course he grew up on in the Florida Panhandle.

Spieth not happy just learning; he wants to win now

At the tender age of 20, Jordan Spieth has experienced more in his young career than players twice his age. But he isn't satisfied with learning. He's at the U.S. Open to win.

VIDEO: Alex Miceli previews the 2014 U.S. Open

Our Alex Miceli is on the grounds at Pinehurst No. 2 and sat down with David Dusek to chat about some of his favorites at the 2014 U.S. Open.

Pinehurst has players tweaking wedges, long irons

Wedges and long irons are the two areas in which U.S. Open competitors are furiously making equipment changes at Pinehurst before the start of the year's second major championship.

Amateur capsules for U.S. Open at Pinehurst

Here is a closer look at the 12 amateurs who will compete in the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 on June 12-15.

• • •

Preview coverage: The course

VIDEO: Klein breaks down changes at Pinehurst

Our Bradley S. Klein has visited Pinehurst No. 2 numerous times, even playing the course twice in the last few months to get a true gauge on what the U.S. Open players will face this week. He breaks down what to expect in this video.

How Pinehurst gets its maddening greens ready

Our Bradley S. Klein was on the course with the course crew at 5:15 a.m. on Pinehurst No. 2, taking in how they get a major course prepared and keep it playable.

Death watch? Potential issues on Pinehurst's 9th green

If there’s one green at Pinehurst No. 2 that is a candidate for going over the top, it’s that of the par-3 ninth. On the card it’s 191 yards, but the putting surface here is one of the course's smallest -- and has the most contour.

Message of 2014 U.S. Opens: Scruffy is new neat

A good story to be told by the USGA about its forthcoming national championships is the different look at Pinehurst – scruffier, less green, less manicured, and also firmer and faster. Luck will play more than a small role.