By Ann Liguori
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Martin Kaymer ran away with the U.S. Open title, showing off an impressive all-around game, clutch putting, poise and composure.
The 29-year-old German, with a 9-under 271, dominated the field wire-to wire. He made a 15-foot par putt on the last hole Sunday for a 1-under 69, giving him an eight-shot victory over Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton.
“It was the toughest day that I played golf today, the first nine,” said Kaymer. “If you have two or three Americans chasing you, it’s never easy being a foreigner at the U.S. Open.”
Before the final round started, there were nine Americans from T2 to T10 on the leaderboard hoping that Kaymer would falter: Rickie Fowler, Erik Compton, Dustin Johnson, Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar, Brooks Koepka, Kevin Na, Jordan Speith and Chris Kirk. The problem for them: Kaymer had a five-shot lead heading into Sunday. And even when he bogied, none of them could sustain excellent play to catch him.
“I stayed aggressive, made birdies, went for some flags. … I didn’t hold back,” Kaymer said. “It’s very difficult to do. … I played very brave and I’m very proud of that.”
It was Kaymer’s second major title. He also won the 2010 PGA Championship.
“To win one major is very nice but to win two, it’s quite big proof to yourself,” he said. “That’s when it matters, you can win big tournaments.”
Kaymer is accustomed to pressure. Perhaps there was no greater pressure than when he made a 6-footer on the last hole to defeat Steve Stricker and secure the winning point for the European Team in the 2012 Ryder Cup in Medinah.
Erik Compton’s performance was particularly moving as the two-time heart transplant recipient achieved the best finish in his career (tied for second) and will receive an invite to the 2015 Masters.
Compton got to within four shots of Kaymer before making the turn, but three bogies in five holes on the back dropped him to 1-under. He saved par on the final hole to the delight of the galleries.
But the week belonged to Kaymer as he joins four other players — Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy — as the only players to win two majors and be ranked No. 1 before turning 30.
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