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updated: 6/15/2014 7:00 PM

Kaymer goes wire-to-wire at U.S. Open

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  • Martin Kaymer, of Germany celebrates after winning the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Sunday, June 15, 2014.

      Martin Kaymer, of Germany celebrates after winning the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Sunday, June 15, 2014.
    Associated Press

  • Martin Kaymer, of Germany, hits his tee shot on the 17th hole during the final round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Sunday, June 15, 2014.

      Martin Kaymer, of Germany, hits his tee shot on the 17th hole during the final round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Sunday, June 15, 2014.
    Associated Press

 
Bloomberg

PINEHURST, N.C. -- Martin Kaymer completed an eight-stroke victory Sunday at golf's U.S. Open for his second major championship title, becoming the seventh player in the tournament's 114-year history to lead after all four rounds.

The 29-year-old German, who also won the 2010 PGA Championship, shot a 1-under-par 69 at Pinehurst Resort's No. 2 course in North Carolina for a 9 under total of 271. Americans Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton tied for second place at 1 under, the only other players to finish below par.

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Kaymer led by a record-tying six shots through two rounds after starting the tournament with back-to-back 65s, and carried a five-stroke lead into the final round. He joins Walter Hagen (1914), James Barnes (1921), Ben Hogan (1953), Tony Jacklin (1970), Tiger Woods (2000 and 2002) and Rory McIlroy (2011) as the only wire-to-wire U.S. Open winners.

The eight-stroke margin of victory is the fourth-largest in U.S. Open history and equals the biggest since McIlroy won by eight at Congressional Country Club three years ago. Woods won by a record 15 shots at Pebble Beach in 2000.

Kaymer's victory comes a month after he won the Players Championship over a field that featured 66 of the top 70 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He joins Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott as the only golfers to win a major, a World Golf Championships event and the Players Championship.

Kaymer, who was ranked No. 1 in the world for two months in 2011 and entered this week at No. 28, receives $1.62 million from the $9 million tournament purse.

Kaymer was in control throughout at the third U.S. Open held at Pinehurst No. 2 and the first since the course underwent a $2.5 million renovation to remove more than 40 acres of Bermuda grass, reducing maintenance costs and returning the 107- year-old Donald Ross design to its original rustic playing conditions. The U.S. Golf Association, which is staging the men's and women's Opens at the venue in consecutive weeks, termed the grounds off the fairways as "natural areas," with sandy expanses, tufts of scrub and wiry grasses.

Kaymer had 11 birdies and one bogey over the first two rounds, as he became the first player with consecutive rounds of 65 or better at one of the sport's four major championships. His 36-hole score of 10-under par 130 was the lowest in U.S. Open history and made him the sixth player to reach double digits under par at the championship.

Kaymer shot a 72 during the third round, yet still carried a five-shot lead over the 25-year-old Fowler and Compton, a two- time heart transplant recipient, into the final day.

While only six of the previous 21 major winners were able to ride a 54-hole lead to victory, Kaymer was never seriously challenged during the final round. While his lead was briefly cut to four strokes, he extended it to eight with consecutive birdies on the 13th and 14th holes.

Kaymer, who in 2010 joined Bernhard Langer as the only German golfers to win a men's major, is the eighth non-American to win the U.S. Open in the past 11 years. Kaymer is the fourth player to win multiple titles on the U.S. PGA Tour this season, joining Jimmy Walker, Bubba Watson and Patrick Reed.

Phil Mickelson, a six-time U.S. Open runner-up who was seeking the career Grand Slam, finished 7-over par after failing to shoot below par in any round. He finished with back-to-back rounds of 72 over the weekend.

"I didn't have it all firing this week, but there will be other chances," said Mickelson, 43, who had the first of his U.S. Open second-place finishes at Pinehurst in 1999, when he lost to Payne Stewart. "I believe in the next five years I'm going to have three or four really good chances, and I do believe I will get it. I'm not upset or disappointed."

McIlroy, who entered the tournament as the oddsmakers' favorite without Woods in the field, finished 6 over par. Woods, four wins shy of Jack Nicklaus's record 18 major titles, skipped the U.S. Open as he continues to rehabilitate his lower back following surgery in March on a pinched nerve.

Scott, No. 1 in the world rankings, finished 2 over after a final-round 69. The last top-ranked player to win a major championship was Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open.

The next major is the British Open, scheduled for July 17-20 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.

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