Day two at Pinehurst saw more of the same from the imperious Martin Kaymer who produced his second successive 65 to streak six shots clear of the field at the halfway stage.
The German’s flawless round, which featured five birdies and not a single dropped shot, was again comfortably the best of the day and ensured he will take a record-equalling lead into the weekend.
A 67 from America’s Brendon Todd means he is leading the chasing pack but, at this stage, it’s looking like a race for second with Kaymer well on his way to a second major title.
We review the best of Sky Sports’ post-round coverage with some of the leading protagonists giving their slant on proceedings in North Carolina.
Prior to the tournament Kaymer had claimed that something around the +8 mark would be in with a decent shout at Pinehurst… the German is now making his own claims look rather silly. The 29-year-old played some sublime golf over the opening two days and puts his exceptional form down to a renewed confidence in his all-round game. “I just feel very comfortable with all the shots really. I don’t fear anything, if I need to shape it left to right, or right to left, high or low, I can do it. You can only gain confidence when you try to hit those shots and once in a while you pull them off and the confidence gets higher and higher.”
Rory remains positive
At most US Opens McIlroy would expect to be right in the hunt heading into the weekend under-par, but – rather as Rory did at Congressional three years ago – Kaymer has turned the event into something of a procession. However, McIlroy is not prepared to throw in the towel just yet, stating: “Honestly going into the weekend I would have taken anything under-par, obviously Martin’s gone and shot the lights out for the first two days which makes what I’ve done seem pretty average. But honestly I feel like I’m in a good position and good score going into the weekend.”
DJ determined to drive
Dustin Johnson carded a second straight 69 to sit in a four-way tie for fifth at the halfway stage and is satisfied with his efforts over the opening 36 holes. The big-hitting American insists an aggressive approach has paid off for him thus far and has admits he intends to keep unleashing his biggest weapon whenever the opportunity arises. “I’ve played pretty aggressive off the tees here, I feel like I’m driving it well. I like hitting driver, I’m not scared to hit it. I think you’ve got to be aggressive off the tee so you can have some kind of good look into the green. Even with wedges in your hand it’s hard to be aggressive at the flags. I can’t control what Martin does, I just can control me so I need to keep playing solid.“
Sight to behold for Bradley
Like Johnson, Keegan Bradley has kicked off with two rounds of 69 to put himself firmly in the chasing pack. But the American – who played alongside Kaymer for the opening two rounds – was happy to acknowledge it had been a pleasure to witness the quality of the leader’s golf first-hand. “He played awesome, it was really fun playing with him and just watching his great golf – a lot of fun. But I’m not going to change anything, tomorrow is another day at Pinehurst and the US Open where par is probably going to be a really good score and I’m going to go out there and see how many of those I can make.”
As good as Tiger
While there is still a long way to go at Pinehurst, it is difficult to overstate the excellence of Kaymer’s performance over the opening two days. Colin Montgomerie and Butch Harmon are two men who have played in and witnessed plenty of US Opens in their time and Monty’s assessment of the German’s performance spoke volumes. “He wasn’t playing a different golf course, he was playing a different sport! This is the best performance I’ve seen at a US Open since Tiger’s famous 15-shot victory in the year 2000.”
Shots of the day
Once again there were plenty of contenders for shot of the day with players finding the hole from all over the course! Ken Duke found a novel way of making par at the ninth after splashing in from the bunker for unlikely par. Kevin Stadler holed out from the middle of the fairway at 13 for eagle, while slam-dunked a chip at the fifth for an eagle of his own.