Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

U.S. Open: Martin Kaymer stars on opening day

updated 7:27 PM EDT, Thu June 12, 2014
Martin Kaymer topped the leaderboard on the opening day of the U.S. Open.
Martin Kaymer topped the leaderboard on the opening day of the U.S. Open.
  • Martin Kaymer records opening round of 65 at U.S. Open
  • German sits three shots clear on five-under
  • 2010 champion Graeme McDowell equal second on two-under
  • Compatriot Rory McIlroy, the 2011 winner, shoots 71 to finish on one over for the day

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Former world No. 1 Martin Kaymer produced a scintillating opening round at the 114th U.S. Open Thursday.

The German carded a five-under-par 65 to move into a three-shot lead in the golf season's second major tournament.

Kaymer, who last month won the Players Championship last month -- known as the "fifth major" -- holed six birdies on a successful day on Pinehurst's second course.

The 29-year-old, who won the U.S. PGA Championship in August 2010, carded the lowest score in a U.S. Open at Pinehurst -- one shot lower than Peter Hedblom's 66 in 2005.

"When you win the Players it's pretty much as if you have won a major, the way the field is," Kaymer told reporters.

A history of golf at Pinehurst
Jordan Spieth's life changing shot
Beautiful hand-painted golf posters

"I needed a win, whether it was the Players or a PGA Tour event for my confidence, to feel it's worth it for all the hard work I have put in over the last couple of years.

"That was a nice, huge win and, coming into the U.S. Open and the next few weeks with big events, it's nice if you've just won before. I'm very happy.

"I was asked before what score I would take at the end of the week and I said eight over, so hopefully that's not going to happen now."

Kaymer, who held the No. 1 ranking for eight weeks in 2011, said the course played easier than it had in practice earlier this week.

"They must have put more water on the greens last night," he said.

"I watched some golf this morning and thought it was more playable and even in the afternoon we could stop the ball on the greens.

"It's an exceptional score and very nice to lead the tournament, but I was very surprised the course played fairly soft."

Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell sits joint-second alongside America's Kevin Na and Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge.

McDowell, who won the tournament in 2010, was encouraged with his performance and took advantage

"I spent the last few days just preparing myself mentally for the challenge,knowing that this golf course wasn't going to give much and it was only going to take," he told reporters.

"I really felt like I got my head in the right place the last few days. It wasn't my best ball-striking display this morning, but you don't have to strike it amazing around here, you just have to position the ball correctly at all times, and with a tiny bit more moisture this morning we got lucky.

"In practice yesterday the golf course seemed to be very firm, kind of a weekend set up. I guess the USGA were really relying on some rain last night, which didn't come.

"I'm assuming they put some water on this place this morning and we were able to take advantage of that a little bit early on, and actually think about getting at some of those flags."

Elsewhere, six-time runner-up Phil Mickelson finished the day five shots off the lead after carding a round of 70, with 2011 winner Rory McIlroy on one-over 71.

England's defending champion Justin Rose was way off the pace on two-over, with Australia's Adam Scott a shot further back.

Masters champion Bubba Watson had a nightmare round of 76, which left the American tied for 123rd.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:24 AM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
The next generation of golfers just keeps on getting younger. "They have the confidence to perform against their idols," says one ex-prodigy.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
He was Spain's ultimate matador and golf's greatest escape artist.
updated 11:36 AM EDT, Wed June 18, 2014
Rory McIlroy has announced he wants to represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Two-time major champion Rory McIlroy declares he'll represent Ireland at the Rio Olympics, not Great Britain.
updated 10:48 PM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Already admired by Annika Sorenstam and with a bucketful of talent, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has the world of golf at her feet.
updated 7:30 AM EDT, Mon April 28, 2014
Mike O'Connor, UK FootGolf
Like footie? Partial to a bit of golf? Then you'll love FootGolf. The sport's growing fan base includes a host of former English Premier League stars.
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Golfers at at Barkway Park don't seem to concerned and have been taking pictures and videos of the bird when it appears on the greens and fairways.
A runaway ostrich-like bird hiding near an English golf course has caused quite a stir. Some say it's dangerous, while others are cashing in.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Tue April 22, 2014
Eagles may be thin on the ground for most golfers at the Bear Trace course at Harrison Bay. But up in the treetops, it's a different matter.
updated 1:54 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.