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."