PINEHURST, N.C. — Martin Kaymer is playing a brand of golf rarely seen in the U.S. Open. It might even be enough for soccer-mad Germany to pay attention.
The other 155 players at Pinehurst No. 2 certainly are.
Kaymer set the 36-hole scoring record at the U.S. Open on Friday with another 5-under 65 — this one without a single bogey — to build an early eight-shot lead and leave the rest of the field wondering if the 29-year-old German was playing a different course, or even a different tournament.
“If he does it for two more days, then we’re all playing for second spot,” Adam Scott said.
Kaymer was at 10-under 130, breaking by one shot the record set by Rory McIlroy at rain-softened Congressional in 2011.
“I played Congressional, and I thought, ‘How can you shoot that low?’ And that’s probably what a lot of other people think about me right now,” Kaymer said.
A fast-moving thunderstorm dumped rain on Pinehurst overnight, though it didn’t make the course that much easier. The pins were in tougher locations. Trouble is waiting around any corner at Pinehurst No. 2. Kaymer rarely found it.
Dustin Johnson opened with a pair of 69s, a score he would have gladly taken at the start of the week and perhaps thought it would be good enough to lead.
Brooks Koepka, the American who is carving his way through the European Tour, birdied his last hole for a 68 and joined the group at 2-under 138 with Johnson, Brendon de Jonge (70) and former PGA champion Keegan Bradley, who played in the same group with Kaymer and rallied for a 69.
A group of players was trying to at least keep in close in the afternoon.
Kevin Na reached 4 under and was on the back nine, with Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar and Brendon Todd close behind. Phil Mickelson was tied for second — that should sound familiar — early in the second round until he fell back with a pair of bogeys. Mickelson is trying to win the U.S. Open after a record six runner-up finishes. Kaymer put a damper on those hopes.
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