We're all waiting on a Martin Kaymer meltdown to make this U.S. Open moderately interesting on the weekend, and a wild drive on his fourth hole of the day put him in one of the worst lies you can get at a U.S. Open. Kaymer sent one well off the Pinehurst fairway, his ball rattling around in the trees, and coming to rest in what looked to be the pinestraw.
But when Kaymer, and the NBC cameras, arrived at his ball, they found a ghastly lie. Kaymer's ball came to rest in some wash-out hardpan, and firmly up against a wall of the pinestraw.
He obviously called in a couple rules officials to go over his options, and they weren't great. The pinestraw is a loose impediment, so he could move that around but obviously if it caused his ball to move, that would be a penalty. He also got no relief off the hardpan because it wasn't considered "ground under repair."
The final decision was to take an unplayable lie, which triggers a penalty stroke, and move his ball two club-lengths out into the fluffily pine straw, which isn't the worst stuff to hit off of (especially compared to the typical U.S. Open rough.
You turned in to the U.S. Open, and now you're watching "Gardening With Martin."— Dan Jenkins (@danjenkinsgd) June 14, 2014
All in all, Kaymer would mitigate the damage with just a bogey -- an incredible bogey. He'd take the unplayable, punch out to 160 yards or so, and get up-and-down from there to drop just one shot on the hole. He's now 8-under for the championship, still five shots up on Brendon de Jonge and Brandt Snedeker.