The Punter's US Open De-Brief: Classy Kaymer powers home at Pinehurst

US Open champion – Martin Kaymer
US Open champion – Martin Kaymer

Our man looks back at an incredible US Open performance by Martin Kaymer, where a few other players caught his eye too...

“Kaymer has now won the US Open, the USPGA Championship, the Players Championship and a WGC event. He’s also holed the winning putt in the Ryder Cup, been ranked number one in the world and all before the age of 30!”

The 114th US Open wasn't the exciting, gripping, tension-filled tournament that we'd all hoped for and my Twitter feed even had a smattering of negative comments over the weekend but what we witnessed was something very special indeed. It can get a bit boring when someone wins so easily from start to finish but there was so much to admire about Martin Kaymer's historic stroll to victory. 

The cool German really was in a class of his own from start to finish and on a week where all bar three men shot over par, his nine-under par total was simply sensational.

Kaymer has now won the US Open, the USPGA Championship, the Players Championship and a WGC event. He's also holed the winning putt in the Ryder Cup, been ranked number one in the world and all before the age of 30! He's a great ambassador for the game and we're lucky to have him.


My Bets

My two big outsiders, JB Holmes and Aaron Baddeley did ok, finishing tied 17th and tied 23rd , but neither ever looked like getting properly involved and it was a disappointing week for my pre-event picks but my in-play bet on Kaymer at the end of round one, saved the week.

I got lucky yesterday when Brooks Koepka, a fantastic each-way selection before the off by Dan Geraghty, birdied the last to beat Matt Kuchar in their two-ball and Ernie Els managed to finish the week as the Top South African again, thanks to an awful late collapse by Garth Mulroy. He bogeyed six of his last eight holes which meant Ernie won by just one. 

Going against Miguel Angel Jimenez in the Top Senior market and Adam Scott in the Top Aussie worked out well but my luck ran out in the Top English market. Lee Westwood was awful and missed the cut and my each-way fancy, Matt Fitzpatrick, was just edged out for a place by a solitary stroke. Danny Willett finished the week on +10, Fitzpatrick +11.

Although I now obviously wish I'd put more on Kaymer, who was little more than a stake saving selection, those side market bets made up for it and it's been a reasonable week.


What have we learned for next year?

I thought Pinehurst was set up magnificently and I was amazed to read a tweet posted by Donald Trump that read, "I'd bet the horrible look of Pinehurst translates into poor television ratings. This is not what golf is about!"

I think we can file that under clueless. As already stated, someone winning easily by a wide margin isn't exciting but Kaymer was in a league of his own and if we take him out, we're left with a typical US Open leaderboard. 

The PGA must have been a little vexed that Kaymer won so easily but they got the set-up bang on. The far wider than usual fairways resulted in more tee-shots in play than most years and the waste areas were even easier to play from than I'd expected them to be but the green complexes defended the scoring (Kaymer apart) magnificently and it was no surprise to see that Kaymer topped the scrambling stats for the week. 

The cream most certainly rose to the top. I loved it and it will be fascinating to see how differently they set it up for the Women's US Open, starting on Thursday.

I haven't had a good look at next year's venue yet but Chambers Bay certainly looks linksy and Kaymer might just fancy his chances of defending. Whether he does or doesn't it may pay to swerve the home contingency. An American has won just three of the last 11 US Opens and a European has now won four of the last five.

With a course that looks as though it should be in Scotland rather than Washington, the trend of overseas winners, and in particular, European winners, could well continue.


Players to watch

Marcel Siem was on the 18th green yesterday to greet his good friend Kaymer and he didn't have a bad tournament himself. He shot no worse than 72 all week and his tied 12th was by some distance his best performance in a major to date. He came to form at this time of the season a couple of years ago when he won the Open de France so don't be surprised if his fellow countryman doesn't inspire him to another win very soon.

Garth Mulroy's late collapse took the edge of what was a really good week and it's worth keeping an eye out for him too as he's clearly playing well and two Americans look worth looking out for too.

Brendan Todd has held his form nicely since he broke his PGA Tour duck at the Byron Nelson last month and he could easily go in again. He didn't handle the situation well on Saturday when he shot 79 playing alongside Kaymer in the final two-ball but his other three rounds were all in the 60s and the other man to catch my eye was Patrick Reed...

Reed didn't do himself any favours when he delivered his bizarre top-five in the world victory speech at Doral in March but based on his finish to this year's US Open he certainly has plenty of game. He came home in a bogey-free, five-under-par 30 on the back nine yesterday and having sat and watched how brutally tough the course had become I really don't know how he did it. It was in stark contrast to the seven-over-par 42 on the front nine so something must have clicked and it could just herald a return to form. Reed won three events in eight months and who's to say he won't win again soon and make it four in a year.

The really good events are coming thick and fast on the European Tour now and a cracking field, that includes the likes of Rory McIlroy, Victor Dubuisson, Graeme McDowell and brand new pro, Matt Fitzpatrick, will line-up at Fota Island on Thursday for the Irish Open. I'll be back with my preview for that and with a preview for the PGA Tour event, the Travelers Championship, tomorrow.

*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter

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