Martin Kaymer takes the outright lead at Sheshan with this birdie on the par-3 17th.
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM
BETHESDA, Md. -- Martin Kaymer walked off the course amazed at Rory McIlroy's performance.
He didn't see a lot of shots, but he saw enough to call McIlroy's game fantastic.
"The way he plays golf, it's a different golf,'' said Kaymer, who won his first major last August at the PGA Championship. "It's close to perfect.''
". . . .It is great for him to win the event early in his career. He's only 22 years old and especially after what happened at the Masters, you know, all the eyes on him. And to finally to bring it home and to win not only, I would say, the biggest over there, anyway, besides the Masters, but it's the U.S. Open, if you are the champion of the United States, it's quite impressive. And to be the second Irish. I mean, I'm very happy for him and for his family, as well. He has great parents. It's great to see.''
Kaymer did say, though, that Congressional was . . . well, not Pebble Beach or Pinehurst.
"It's not really a U.S. Open golf course, to be honest,'' Kaymer said. "It plays softer. You have birdie chances the first nine It plays fairly easy. If you hit the fairways, you can go straight at the flags. And the greens, they roll along. Still, 16‑under, or wherever he'll finish today, it's very impressive and I'm very happy for him.''
McIlroy's expected win will also give the Internationals a string of five consecutive major championships for the first time ever. Internationals held four in a row in 1994 -- Jose Maria Olazabal (Masters), Ernie Els (U.S. Open) and Nick Price (British Open, PGA).
When asked what he thought that said about American golf, Kaymer said, "It says, I think, that the Americans struggle a little bit. Since Tiger (Woods) has been on a, how do you say, a little down.''
He added that the advent of the World Golf Championships have strengthened international golf, but that it was Padraig Harrington, who won three of six majors (2007, 2008 British Opens; 2008 PGA Championship) "gave us at least the belief that we can win here in America, as well."
BETHESDA, Md. -- With nine holes to go, Y.E. Yang has trimmed two shots off Rory McIlroy's early eight-shot lead.
Yang, the 2009 PGA champ, birdied the seventh and ninth holes to get to 5 under for the tournament. Heath Slocum is also making a move in the afternoon, making the turn at 2 under for the day and the event.
Two members of the Big Three pairing have tucked themselves just inside the cutline, as well.
Lee Westwood is 2 under for the day and in a big group along with Luke Donald at 2 over for the week. Donald, who ranks No. 1 in the FedExCup and the world rankings, is currently 1 under for the day.
Martin Kaymer is struggling, though. He's 1 over for the day and 4 over for the tournament. The projected cut is currently 3 over.
BETHESDA, Md. -- The top three players in the world are having a difficult time during the first round of the U.S. Open.
World No. 1 Luke Donald, who also leads the FedExCup standings, is 3 over while his playing partners, No. 2 Lee Westwood and No. 3 Martin Kaymer are 2 over and 3 over, respectively. The threesome started on the back nine.
Donald opened with birdies on his first two holes, but saw that hot start evaporate quickly starting at No. 13 as he made four bogeys and a double bogey at No. 18 to turn in 39. He did manage a birdie at the first hole and has parred his next four.
Westwood made the turn in 1 over and got it back to even with a birdie at the par-3 second, But consecutive bogeys at Nos. 3 and 4 have put him back over par with four holes remaining.
Kaymer, who won the PGA last year, also started positively with a birdie at the 10th hole. He bogeyed Nos. 11 and 12, though, added a birdie at No. 13 and bogeyed the 17th to make the turn in 1 over. Bogeys at Nos. 1 and 3 have added to that deficit.