By Ann Liguori
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It was a sheer pleasure to watch the Martin Kaymer show in Round 2 on Friday. The 29-year-old German shot a 5-under 65 for the second straight day. His score of 130 after 36 holes is a tournament record, breaking Rory McIlroy’s score of 131 which he carded after two rounds at the 2011 US Open at Congressional.
Kaymer hit 12 of 14 fairways and when he didn’t hit the green, he got up and down for par out of a bunker. It was a work of art.
Kaymer looked so relaxed, so fluid, so focused. He started his round with a birdie on the 10th hole. He birdied the 13th, draining a long bomb and holed another birdie putt on the 16th. He drove the green on the par 4, 315 yard, 3rd hole and two-putt for birdie there. He got up and down from a few bunkers and made beautiful par saves.
Kaymer admitted to getting a little tight the last three or four holes but the way he got out of bunker trouble and made clutch par saves, if he’s that ‘tight’ Saturday, he’ll continue to run away with the tournament.
Asked if it was the best two days of golf he’s ever played, Kaymer said: “I played well. I’ve had some good rounds in the past as well.”
Yes, but to put two straight rounds of 65 together on this course, in this major, is quite remarkable. And if he continues to stay as even-keeled as he’s shown, keeping the nerves intact, then this championship will continue to be the Martin Kaymer show.
Kaymer was pleased with the way he worked the ball around the course. “I hit smart shots. I didn’t play too aggressive and when I had a good number, I went for the flag and I didn’t make too many mistakes on the greens…no three putts.”
Brendon Todd, who won the HP Byron Nelson Championship this year, is the closest player to Kaymer. The 28-year-old, originally from Pittsburgh, shot a 3 under 67 with 3 birdies and no bogies. At 4 under, Todd is six shots behind.
Kevin Na got to 4-under twice but with another bogie on the 17th, Na finished at 3-under for the tournament with Brandt Snedeker. Snedeker, with four birdies and a double, couldn’t get closer than 7 back.
Phil Mickelson continued to struggle with his putter. Lefty started strong with back to back birdies on holes two and three, but then he bogied five holes after that, missing short, makeable par saves. At plus three, Mickelson is 13 shots off the pace.
It would be a shame if Kaymer falters over the weekend after two stellar rounds. If he can continue to dial it in and be flawless, the TV ratings may not be great but serious golf fans would certainly appreciate watching. Few can duplicate that level of play. It’s truly beautiful to watch.
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