Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Martin Kaymer, of Germany, tips his cap after finishing the third round of the U.S. Open golf tournament in Pinehurst, N.C., Saturday, June 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Golf: 5 things to know about final round of U.S. Open
First Published Jun 15 2014 10:53 am • Last Updated Jun 17 2014 05:04 pm

Pinehurst, N.C. • The mantra from the 66 players chasing Martin Kaymer at Pinehurst No. 2 is that anything can happen in the U.S. Open.

There is reason for hope.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Only twice in the last 20 years of the U.S. Open has the 54-hole leader managed to break par in the final round. Then again, both were runaway winners. Rory McIlroy had an eight-shot lead at rain-softened Congressional in 2011 and closed with a 69. Tiger Woods had a 10-shot lead at Pebble Beach in 2000 and closed with a 67.

Three players didn’t even break 80, including Retief Goosen. He was going for back-to-back U.S. Open wins at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2005 and shot 81.

These are the five things to consider going into Sunday at Pinehurst No. 2:

BIG LEADS: Kaymer will be the first to say that no lead is safe — even the five-shot lead he takes into the final round.

He made a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole Saturday to reach 8-under 202, and it would seem that extra shot could go a long way.

"If you’re four shots, five shots, six shots, if you play a golf course like this, it can be gone very quickly," he said.

Dustin Johnson had a three-shot lead that was gone in two holes at Pebble Beach in 2010. Retief Goosen had a three-shot lead in 2005 at Pinehurst No. 2. And that’s just over the last 10 years.

Kaymer has experience with a big lead. He led by six shots in the BMW International Open in his native Germany in 2008, and he went on to win — but only after losing the lead and having to make birdie on the first playoff hole to beat Anders Hansen.


story continues below
story continues below

BIG HEART: A common saying at any major, and particularly the U.S. Open, is that a player has to have a lot of heart to withstand the pressure of the final round.

Erik Compton is on his third heart.

In what is truly one of the more remarkable stories, Compton is tied for second place going into the final round after a 3-under 67 — one of only two rounds under par on Saturday — that included one eagle and five birdies.

Compton had his first heart transplant when he was 12, and still managed to play in the Walker Cup in 2001 at Sea Island. He was trying to find his way on the Nationwide Tour when he suffered a heart attack in 2007 — his heart was pumping at 15 percent capacity when he drove himself to the hospital, calling everyone to say that he loved him because he thought it was over. He had his second heart transplant six months later.

A victory Sunday — can it really happen? — would rank with Ben Hogan returning from a life-threatening car crash to win the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion.

BIG STYLE: NBC Sports analyst referred to Rickie Fowler as "big hat, no cattle."

In his fifth year on the PGA Tour, Fowler has heard that before. He has created a pop star following in American golf with his X-game style — bright colors, the flat bill hat, and all-orange on Sunday in honor of his college days at Oklahoma State.

He is an expert in social media — "Rickie Fowler 2.0" — and despite all the attention, has retained a remarkable sense of respect and consideration for VIPs and the volunteers restocking the water coolers.

But he only has one victory, just two hours down the road at Quail Hollow two years ago.

He also shot a 67 on Saturday and will be in the final group of a major for the first time. Two months ago, Fowler was only two shots out of the lead going into the last day at the Masters. He shot 73 and tied for fifth.

BIG CHASE: No one has ever come from more than seven shots behind on the last day to win the U.S. Open, and that took a regal effort. Arnold Palmer drove the first green at Cherry Hills in 1960 on his way to a 65 to win his first U.S. Open.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.