US Open 2014: Martin Kaymer strolls to Pinehurst success

By Richard WintonBBC Sport
Martin Kaymer
Martin Kaymer shot a fine 69 to win by eight strokes

Germany's Martin Kaymer clinched his second major title and first US Open after a dominant start-to-finish victory at Pinehurst.

The 29-year-old, who won the US PGA in 2010, dominated for four days to beat Americans Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton by eight shots.

Leading by five overnight, Kaymer shot 69 to end nine under par overall.

He became the fourth European winner in five years and the first from continental Europe.

Graeme McDowell,Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose have all tasted success in the tournament since 2010, but Bernhard Langer - Kaymer's feted compatriot, and a man he has now emulated by winning two majors - never finished higher than fourth in a US Open.

"I hope this will make Bernhard proud and Germany proud," the former world number one said.

Kaymer factfile
Born: 28 Dec 1984, Dusseldorf, Germany
Turned pro: 2005
Major wins: US PGA 2010
World ranking: 28
Highest world ranking: 1 (Feb-Apr 2011)
Ryder Cup teams: 2010, 2012

Kaymer posted two peerless rounds of 65 to thrust himself six shots clear of the field and equal the records for the lowest 36-hole mark at any major and the largest halfway lead at the US Open.

And he held firm over the weekend to become just the seventh man to win the tournament having led from the start, joining Walter Hagen (1914), Jim Barnes (1921), Ben Hogan (1953), Tony Jacklin (1970), Tiger Woods (2000 and 2002) and McIlroy (2011).

"It is always special when you come to courses with big history," added Kaymer, who won the prestigious Players Championship in May.

"I played very solidly in the first two days and that gave me a very good foundation, but to shoot one over for the weekend is not easy."

Kaymer's final total of 271 was the second lowest in US Open history - three higher than McIlroy's tally from three years ago - and confirmed an outcome that appeared assured from the moment the German birdied the third on Sunday to move six clear.

A dropped shot on seven offered the briefest flicker of hope to the rest as his lead shortened to four - a smaller gap than at any stage since the front nine of the second round - but nobody in the chasing pack could get close enough to ratchet up the tension.

A double bogey on the fourth effectively torpedoed Fowler's chances, despite the 25-year-old American rallying to card a haphazard 72 for a one-under under finish.

Three bogeys between four and 11 did for Henrik Stenson (73), while Brandt Snedeker (73) also faltered with a couple of dropped shots on the front nine.

Compton, who became a favourite among the galleries because of his double heart transplant, tried to reel in Kaymer but, although he did reach four under at one stage, the American spilled strokes on seven, nine, 11 and 12 as his challenge faltered.

The 34-year-old eventually signed for a 72, two ahead of Stenson, Dustin Johnson (73), Keegan Bradley (67), Jason Day (68) and Brooks Koepka (71).

McDowell was pleased with his closing 70 at Pinehurst

Defending champion Justin Rose got to one under after an eagle at the fifth but fell away and signed for a 72 to finish three over, one adrift of world number one Adam Scott, whose 69 earned him a share of eighth place.

"I wish I would have been closer," said the Australian. "I'm playing some of the best golf of my life, but winning majors is hard."

Ian Poulter dropped four strokes on a profligate back nine but still signed for a 70 to finish four over, two better than McIlroy, who counted a double bogey on 12 among his scrappy 73.

Another Northern Irishman, 2010 champion McDowell, was a further shot back after closing his campaign with a level par 70 to finish on the same mark as Phil Mickelson (72).

"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," said the American, who has finished runner-up a record six times.

Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick ended his amateur career in style, amassing four birdies in a splendid one-under 69 to finish 11 over.

Martin Kaymer
Martin Kaymer's final-round card contained four birdies and three bogeys
Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler was unable to build any momentum and had to settle for second place
Justin Rose marked the end of his final round by mimicking the statue of 1999 champion Payne Stewart
Justin Rose marked the end of his final round by mimicking the statue of 1999 champion Payne Stewart
Matthew Fitzpatrick
Matthew Fitzpatrick posted a one-under 69 on his final round as an amateur
Phil Mickelson
Phil Mickelson, a six-time US Open runner-up, closed his latest challenge with a disappointing 72