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Best cumulative score in majors? So far, Fowler

Jim McCabe

Though Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy would take what they’ve done in the major championships thus far in 2014 – after all, winning is the goal, isn’t it? – Rickie Fowler has played consistently best. At least according to his scores, because he’s 18 under for his 12 rounds in the 2014 majors.

Of the 19 who have made the cut in all three majors, Fowler is the only one with three top 10s (T-5 in the Masters, T-2 in the U.S. Open and Open Championship).

Next best overall score is McIlroy's, at 11 under, while Jim Furyk and Adam Scott are 9 under. The three others to be under par in their 12 major rounds: Jordan Spieth at 3 under, with Jimmy Walker and Justin Rose at 2 under.

The other cumulative scores: Henrik Stenson, 1 over; Chris Kirk and Matt Kuchar, 3 over; Martin Kaymer, 4 over; Jason Day, 6 over; Francesco Molinari, 9 over; Louis Oosthuizen, 10 over; Bill Haas, 11 over; Brandt Snedeker, 12 over; Stewart Cink, 14 over; Gary Woodland, 15 over; Kevin Stadler, 17 over.

Of those on this list, only Woodland and Stadler have failed to finish inside ...

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Kaymer most impressive, amid good company

Jim McCabe

PINEHURST, N.C. – They had been left without a whiff of hope as early as Saturday’s third round. But by Sunday evening, the competition in the 114th U.S. Open suddenly seemed pleased to discover that Martin Kaymer had left them some good cheer, morsels that they might have appeared.

Rickie Fowler found pleasure in his second straight top five in a major. Erik Compton basked in the glow of a weekend stage that earned him deserved acclaim. Brooks Koepka needed time to put his arms around all the boxes he had checked off. Even those who’ve known major championship success – Adam Scott and Keegan Bradley – stayed positive in the face of defeat and accentuated good thoughts.

Nice guy, that Kaymer. Puts a 65-65 hammerlock on his opposition the first two days, throws down a long bogey putt at the 40th hole then a brilliant 7 iron from 205 yards to set up an eagle putt to all but end things on the 41st, then keeps them on the mat with a closing 69. Yet no one could be mad at him; instead, they sang his praises and seemed to find genuine joy in this front end of ...

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One-hit wonder no more, Kaymer back on top

Nick Masuda

PINEHURST, N.C. – Martin Kaymer heard the critics – a one-hit wonder who had lost his way in the game of golf.

The 29-year-old German didn't have the results to disprove any of them.

Sure, he won the 2010 PGA Championship, following it with a win at the 2011 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship – leapfrogging Tiger Woods to World No. 2 – and added a runner-up finish at the WGC-Match Play Championship.

Suddenly, Kaymer was giving soccer a run for its money in his native Germany – especially when he surpassed Lee Westwood as No. 1 in the world after his finish in the Arizona desert.

He was on top of the world.

Within 11 weeks, Kaymer was knocked from his perch atop the golf world – and the drop took on a life of itself, with Kaymer seemingly falling off the map.

"I was not expecting myself to win a major at 25. I was surprised about my performance," said Kaymer, who completed an eight-shot romp at the U.S. Open on Sunday.

"I couldn't handle a lot of things that happened in Germany, all the attention that I could get. And then becoming No. 1 in the world, that added ...

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Koepka gets more than bargained for in U.S. Open

Nick Masuda

PINEHURST, N.C. – Staring down a birdie putt on his 72nd hole of the 2014 U.S. Open, Brooks Koepka knew that his performance Sunday had just changed his life.

Coming into the day, the former Florida State All-American needed a T-17 finish to secure his PGA Tour card for the 2014-15 season. Check.

A top-10 finish at Pinehurst No. 2 would also secure an invitation to Chambers Bay for the 2015 U.S. Open. Unless he three-putted, also secure. Check.

What he didn't know is that a birdie would secure him a likely top-four finish – and that'd land him a spot in the 2015 Masters.

Draino.

The birdie putt dropped and Koepka pulled off a day that most up-and-coming professional golfers can only dream of.

"(Getting his PGA Tour card) has always been a dream of mine," said Koepka, still oblivious to his start at Augusta National. "And to do it here, at the U.S. Open, that's special."

Koepka came into the week ranked No. 96 in the Official World Golf Ranking – 10 spots lower than where he started the year. The Florida native was coming off a 2013 campaign that saw him win three ...

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Will U.S. Open enable course-setup revolution?

Bradley S. Klein

PINEHURST, N.C. – I’ve been coming to Pinehurst since 1977. Back then I was caddying on the PGA Tour, had taken an overnight train from Northampton, Mass., and arrived in time for the end-of-summer Colgate Hall-of-Fame Classic to loop for Lon Hinkle. Total purse was $250,000. About a dozen of us caddies stayed in some flophouse in nearby Southern Pines for $35 for the week.

Now, 37 years later, I’ve just finished watching and covering the 2014 U.S. Open. In those intervening years I’ve been here many times, including 100 or so days researching the biography I wrote, “Discovering Donald Ross.” Every time I come here, I marvel at the place and how it’s evolved. And now, after Martin Kaymer’s runaway win in this championship, I’m amazed once again at how raw and bony and scruffy and baked out the place looks and plays.

And I hope that folks watching don’t dismiss it as some fad. I hope that they embrace the revolution of this firm, fast, linksland in the pines.

Johnny Miller apparently opined that Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, who did the restoration of the Pinehurst No. 2 course ...

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Notes: Berger and son; Bradley eyes Ryder

Jim McCabe

His father came along for the final 180 yards of the walk up 18, but there wouldn’t be any help needed to read his birdie putt, not with Daniel Berger having hit it within 5 feet.

“I wouldn’t want him reading my putts,” Berger said with a laugh. Though the truth is, having Jay Berger along for the walk up 18 was the highlight of Daniel’s first-ever U.S. Open.

“It was pretty cool, Father’s Day Sunday, dad being here. I just gave him a big hug. He’s done a lot for me,” said the 21-year-old from Plantation, Fla.

When Daniel Berger slipped home that short putt at 18, he tossed a blanket of surprise over the festivities. At 4-under 66, he had not only the low fourth round, but he had low round of the championship, Non-Kaymer Division. (The impressive German, of course, opened with a pair of 65s.)

The 66 afforded Berger a massive move upward. Having started the day tied for 57th, he wound up T-28, good for a $67,865 paycheck. Not bad when you consider that he’s earned $123,851 in 11 Web.com Tour starts this season.

Berger ...

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U.S. Open Tracker: Kaymer wins U.S. Open

Golfweek Staff

Winning his second major title, Martin Kaymer remained in control of his destiny all day Sunday at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

Kaymer brought a five-shot lead to the final round and expanded it, shooting under par – meanwhile, much like a day ago, his closest pursuers to start the round have all played over par.

Keep up with Sunday's highlights from the U.S. Open right here – and scroll down to see our previous coverage from Pinehurst No. 2!

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Update No. 39: 7:39 p.m. EDT

Martin Kaymer makes a putt for a scrambling par and shoots 69 to win the U.S. Open by eight shots.

Rickie Fowler makes par for a 72 that leaves him T-2 with Erik Compton; they're the only other two players to finish under par.

• • •

Update No. 38: 7:34 p.m. EDT

Erik Compton and Henrik Stenson finish with pars, finishing 1 under and 1 over respectively. Compton is T-2 with Rickie Fowler as he heads in and is set to earn a Masters invitation with a top-four finish.

• • •

Update No ...

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U.S. Open Tracker: Kaymer's lead nipped

Golfweek Staff

At Pinehurst, where some thought the winner might post a score over par, Martin Kaymer starts Saturday's third round at the U.S. Open 10 under par. He gave a couple shots back, but so did his closest pursuers as he finishes 54 holes in 8 under.

He'll start Sunday five shots ahead of Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton, six ahead of Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson.

Recap Saturday's highlights from the U.S. Open right here – and scroll down to see our previous coverage from Pinehurst No. 2!

• • •

Update #41: 7:40 p.m. EDT

Leader Martin Kaymer hits another fine drive, as he did at the 16th, and parks his approach shot about 5 feet past the pin for one last birdie look. He sinks that one and finishes a 72, heading into Sunday at 8 under and leading by five.

Brandt Snedeker finishes with six straight pars for a 72 and will start Sunday's final round under par in sixth.

• • •

Update #40: 7:29 p.m. EDT

Brandt Snedeker recovers ...

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Moore: They'll be putting 'em off greens today

James Achenbach

PINEHURST, N.C. – Welcome to the real U.S. Open.

In another wrestling match with Pinehurst No. 2, Ryan Moore shot a 1-over-par 71 Saturday and was smiling all the way to the clubhouse.

"Weekends are different (at the U.S. Open)," said Moore, who has posted rounds of 76, 68 and 71. "Anything close to par on the weekend, you're going to move up – a lot."

So what's different?

"The greens," he replied. "They're starting to firm up. They're getting bouncier. There's going to be at least 10 people putting off the greens today. I mean from 25 to 30 feet, not from 50 feet.

"I had an 18-footer that I purposely missed high. If I missed on the other side, it was going off the green."

Was Saturday's 71 as good as Friday's 68?

"Every bit as good," Moore said. "It's possible to shoot 80 out there today, no problem. There's a little less moisture on the greens today. We had a whole morning without fog, and that's kind of baking them out a little bit."

Moore's motivation?

"Playing to win the tournament was a far, far ...

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Furyk to Ko, 'Fluff' to keep working Pinehurst

Alex Miceli

PINEHURST, N.C. – Jim Furyk made it to the weekend of his 20th U.S. Open on Friday. It will be the 17th time Furyk will play on the weekend, and one LPGA teenager is excited to see the 44-year-old playing an additional 36 holes.

Lydia Ko, 17, is the excited teenager, because in five days she will tee it up at Pinehurst No. 2 in the U.S. Women’s Open with Furyk’s longtime caddie Mike "Fluff" Cowan carrying her bag.

According to Cowan, Ko’s agent Michael Yim from IMG contacted Cowan to see if he would be interested in caddieing for the LPGA phenomenon at Pinehurst.

Because Furyk won't play next week's Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour, Cowan would be available. The veteran caddie waited awhile before eventually agreeing to do it.

“Pretty hard to believe,” Cowan said of Ko’s world ranking. “It's quite an accomplishment, without a doubt. I mean, God almighty, 17 years old and you're considered to be the third-best player in the world? I'm really looking forward to watching her play.”

Cowan has worked on the LPGA in the past, caddieing for Michelle Wie at ...

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Compton tightens focus, makes U.S. Open cut

Beth Ann Nichols

PINEHURST, N.C. – Charles DeLucca III swears that one day, we’ll all be sitting in a movie theater watching Erik Compton’s life unfold on the big screen. The tale of an All-American battling back from two heart transplants to make a living on the PGA Tour is the stuff of Hollywood gold.

He gets it, too. The 34-year-old is a hero to those in need of transplants. He’s walking proof that life doesn’t have to diminish after surgery, and his story inspires others to donate.

This week's U.S. Open at Pinehurst, however, Compton’s second major-championship appearance, is purely about golf. Sure he’ll sign autographs and give words of inspiration if he can, but this week in particular, Compton wants to be laser-focused. It’s why his wife and daughter aren’t here this week. It’s why he scheduled the clinic and the hospital visit for next week in Hartford, Conn., during the Travelers Championship.

“If I play well, it will help other people because it is on a big stage,” said Compton, whose second-round 68 put him at even par for the tournament and tied for 14th. “I think many times ...

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By the numbers: Kaymer strong in several stats

James Achenbach

PINEHURST, N.C. – He's getting better. He's getting longer.

Who else? Martin Kaymer, who has posted two 65s but hit more greens in the second round and also recorded a longer average driving distance.

Kaymer has 11 birdies and 1 bogey in 36 holes. He is obviously in top form.

But there is additional bad news for his competitors: Kaymer hit 15 greens in regulation in the second round after hitting 11 in the first round. He averaged 306 yards off the tee Friday, up from 300.5 yards Thursday.

Kaymer has hit 26 of 36 greens in regulation (tied for 5th), along with 25 of 28 fairways (tied for 2nd).

The German has missed 10 greens, but no problem there. He got up-and-down 9 times, his lone bogey coming on the par-4 seventh hole of the opening round.

Putting? Kaymer is tied for fourth in total putts with 54 in 36 holes. Justin Leonard is best in the field with 52 putts.

An astounding collection of golfers, including Kaymer, has not three-putted in 36 greens. This No Three-Putt Club includes Brendon Todd and Matt Kuchar.

On the other hand, celebrated amateur Cameron Wilson three-putted nine times in ...

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Add U.S. Open contention to Todd's big season

Jim McCabe

PINEHURST, N.C. – Then again, maybe this experience stuff is overrated.

That’s one way to explain the presence of Brendon Todd in the final pairing of Saturday’s third round of the 114th U.S. Open.

No U.S. Opens on his resume? No major championships? No problem.

Heck, the onetime University of Georgia standout hardly blinked when he saw a leaderboard with his name nestled beneath that of Martin Kaymer.

“When I got that first birdie (on No. 3), the name went up there. It’s cool,” Todd said after shooting 67 to get halfway home in 4-under 136, six behind Kaymer. “(But it’s) not something that is like a super shock for me. I’ve been a pro for seven years. I’ve been on some leaderboards now for a while, so I don’t put much stock in it and I don’t look at it a whole lot.”

True, all of that, but the thing is, the 28-year-old Todd only recently broke through on the PGA Tour. Having split 2013 between the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour, he settled into a rhythm in the early part of this season. Just four weeks ago ...

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U.S. Open Tracker: Kaymer stretches lead

Golfweek Staff

Martin Kaymer posted a 65 to start the U.S. Open with the lead – and a record for an Open round at Pinehurst No. 2 at that, despite an afternoon tee time. The winner of last month's Players Championship expanded that margin Friday, shooting 65 again for an eight-shot lead.

Among the players giving chase this afternoon: Graeme McDowell, Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson and Brandt Snedeker. But they've got a steep hill to climb.

Keep up with the highlights from the U.S. Open right here – and scroll down for our previous coverage from Pinehurst!

• • •

Update #52: 7:58 p.m. EDT

The final group ends its round with Clayton Rask birdieing to stay inside the cut line and get to 4 over, while Brian Campbell of the Illinois Illini bogeys to fall outside the cut line at 6 over. Pinehurst No. 2 will see 67 players hit the course tomorrow and Sunday.

• • •

Update #51: 7:49 p.m. EDT

Heartbreaker for Matt Dobyns, the long-hitting club pro who birdied Nos. 7-8 ...

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Even at eight back, Dustin Johnson has plan

James Achenbach

PINEHURST, N.C. – The last time Dustin Johnson tangled with Martin Kaymer at the top of the leaderboard in a major championship, Johnson ended up with a two-stroke penalty and a $270,833 paycheck. In just one hole, the 18th at Whistling Straits, Johnson slipped from first to fifth in the 2010 PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, Kaymer won that major and took home $1,350,000.

What a difference a two-shot penalty can make, Kaymer earning $1,079,167 more than Johnson on that controversial day. Without the penalty for grounding his club in a bunker, Johnson would have joined Kaymer and Bubba Watson in a playoff.

That was nearly four years ago. Now Johnson and Kaymer are battling at the 2014 U.S. Open, although Kaymer is threatening to run away from the field. When Johnson finished his second round early Friday afternoon, he was 2 under par and tied for second. Kaymer, however, was 10 under par and waving goodbye to all contenders.

"My approach won't change at all," insisted Johnson, sounding like a man trying to convince himself of something. "Just keep doing what I'm doing. I've got a good game plan for this golf ...

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