PINEHURST, N.C. — Just imagine what the U.S. Open would look like after two rounds had Martin Kaymer stayed home.
The weekend would begin with the leader at 4 under and with 24 golfers within five shots of the lead to provide plenty of competition.
But Kaymer is certainly here, and the question now is whether everyone else is playing for second after he shot another 5-under-par 65 Friday to take a six-shot lead at 10 under. It’s the best two-round score in the history of the U.S. Open.
Others are finding Pinehurst No. 2 to be nearly as difficult as predicted, but Kaymer is making it look easy.
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That is not supposed to happen at a U.S. Open.
“The way I am playing golf right now, it’s just really satisfying,” Kaymer said. “It’s very solid, not many mistakes. Not that many wild tee shots or anything.”
Brendon Todd, who played high-school golf about an hour north in Cary, N.C., is in second by himself at 4 under. Kevin Na and Brandt Snedeker are at 3 under.
Kaymer’s two-round score of 130 is one better than the previous record, set by Rory McIlroy at Congressional (outside Washington, D.C.) in 2011. Kaymer is the sixth player in history to reach double-digits under par at the U.S. Open.
This weekend has the look of a one-man show, similar to McIlroy’s eight-shot victory in 2011 and Tiger Woods’ 15-shot runaway at Pebble Beach in 2000.
“He’s as dialed in as I have seen,” said Keegan Bradley, who played with Kaymer the first two rounds and was tied for fifth at 2 under. “It was fun watching him hit every fairway, every green and make every putt. It was awesome.”
Kaymer has hit a remarkable 25 of 28 fairways and he has gone 29 holes without a bogey.
After his 65 Thursday set the record for the lowest round at Pinehurst No. 2 in its three U.S. Opens, Kaymer said not to expect another one. But he said about an inch of rain Thursday night softened the course enough to make it possible.
“Obviously, the record book shows that it’s very rare that someone shoots 10-under par after two rounds,” Kaymer said. “It just happened in my case now.”
Perhaps more impressive than Kaymer getting to 10 under was staying there. He got up and down for par from the right-side bunker on the par-3 sixth (his 16th hole of the day), up and down from the front bunker on No. 7 and made an excellent two-putt for par from about 60 feet on the par-4 eighth hole.
He finished with a low-stress par on the par-3 ninth.
“The last three, four holes I got tired,” Kaymer said.
And his wish for the weekend?
“I would like to see (the course) as tough as possible,” he said. “I was always a fan of a golf course where you need to hit good golf shots and not really have a putting competition.”
• Puyallup’s Ryan Moore rebounded nicely from an opening-round 76 to make the cut. He shot a 2-under 68 Friday to stand at 4 over. He’s in a tie for 44th, up 78 spots from his 122nd tie after the first round. His round Friday included holing out from about 45 yards on the fifth hole for an eagle.
• Hunter Mahan and Jamie Donaldson were assessed two-shot penalties for hitting the wrong balls on the 18th hole. Mahan noticed the mistake at the green, and the two players had to go back to where their balls originally were on the fairway while taking a two-stroke penalty. Mahan missed the cut at 6 over after a 72. Donaldson missed the cut too, shooting an 81 after opening with a 70.
• Among the prominent names missing the cut: current Masters champion Bubba Watson, Charl Schwartzel, Luke Donald, Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner and Angel Cabrera.
Scott Hanson: 206-464-2943