We are back for another day of U.S. Open action at Pinehurst Number 2. Some overnight rain has softened the course and so far, the leaders from yesterday are taking advantage of the more receptive greens and favorable scoring conditions.
Martin Kaymer - After shooting the lowest score ever, a 65, during a U.S. Open at Pinehurst Number 2, many wondered what Martin Kaymer would do for an encore. Well, the 29 year-old German has kept it rolling this morning. Kaymer made birdie on his opening hole, the par-5 10th. He then added another birdie on the 13th hole, draining a 25-foot putt. And then poured in another at the 16th hole.
Kaymer shot an inward 31 on the back nine on Thursday, and he's pushing that number again on that same nine on Friday. As Scott Van Pelt noted, he's got 10 one-putts in his last 13 holes, and now has a five-shot lead over the field. Is this turning into a Rory McIlroy-style runaway before we even hit the weekend?
The only thing going wrong for Kaymer at this point is the pace of play for his group. Apparently, his group has been put on the clock just two holes into the round, which is a bit odd.
Fran Quinn - From the "who is this guy" department, Fran Quinn surprisingly shot a 2-under 68 yesterday. As of now, he has not fallen off the leaderboard like you would expect. In fact, he got off to a great start, making birdie on his first hole and is in second place at his national championship.
Adam Scott - Scott has made a bit a of a move with back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th at Pinehurst. It started a little shaky again, as he visited the "native areas" but managed to hold it together and not drop a shot before posting those two red numbers. He's now 1-over and inside the top 30.
Bubba Watson - Speaking of needing to get it together, Bubba had a rough opening round 76. He has played better this morning, but he will also need some more birdies to have a chance this weekend. He's 1-over for the day at 7-over for the week.
Course Conditions - As I mentioned, the course got a little rain last night and it has influenced scoring conditions in the morning. From what I have seen so far, approach shots have held the green a lot better than they were yesterday afternoon. As the course dries throughout the morning, it should get tougher for the afternoon draw who will probably be much farther behind Kaymer before they ever hit a shot. Bad news for guys like Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy.
Here's a snapshot of the leaderboard early on Friday:
|T3||Kevin Na||-2||1:03 PM|
|T3||Graeme McDowell||-2||1:25 PM|
|T3||Brendon de Jonge||-2||10|
|T7||Brandt Snedeker||-1||1:03 PM|
|T7||Matt Kuchar||-1||1:14 PM|
|T7||Henrik Stenson||-1||1:14 PM|
|T7||Brendon Todd||-1||1:47 PM|
|T7||Jordan Spieth||-1||1:58 PM|
|T7||Hideki Matsuyama||-1||1:58 PM|
|T15||Henrik Norlander||E||12:30 PM|
|T15||Lucas Bjerregaard||E||12:30 PM|
|T15||Marcel Siem||E||12:41 PM|
|T15||Phil Mickelson||E||1:36 PM|
|T15||Ian Poulter||E||1:36 PM|
|T15||Russell Henley||E||1:47 PM|
|T15||Joost Luiten||E||1:47 PM|
|T15||Rickie Fowler||E||1:58 PM|
|T15||Aaron Baddeley||E||2:09 PM|