CBS Sports- Bo Van Pelt was right.
Earlier this week Van Pelt, who finished 18 over, more than 25 shots behind Martin Kaymer compared the big German to one of the greatest golfers in history.
“Tiger Woods 2000 is here,” Van Pelt said. “He just looks like Martin Kaymer this week.”
At the time Kaymer was 10 under after two rounds and everybody wanted to pump the brakes. Everybody except Kaymer, that is.
“I played very brave,” he said. “I didn’t make many mistakes, you know, the last two wins that I had in America, especially this week.”
Kaymer shot a 1-under 69 and was aggressively smart all day on Sunday. He went after pins but he also took his medicine.
Case in point: He ripped driver at the 308-yard par-4 3rd hole and was rewarded with a birdie. On the par-4 7th hole he leaked one left and had a wicked up-and-down look over a bunker.
What did he do?
He just putted it off to the side, took a long look at a 20-foot par, barely missed it, took bogey, and folded away the 2014 US Open.
Then on No. 9, he ended things resoundingly.
The birdie gave him a six-shot lead going to the back nine and he just chased history from there. History that only Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have tasted.
They were the only two golfers to lead wire-to-wire at a US Open in the last 40 years. Until Kaymer did it this year at Pinehurst.
They’re also the only two golfers to best Kaymer’s 9 under mark at a US Open in history. And only McIlroy has ever bested Kaymer’s total score of 271.
Kaymer’s winning margin of eight over runners-up Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton has been bested only by Woods (2000, 15 strokes) and Willie Smith (1899, 9 strokes).
Kaymer also joins a list that includes Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Raymond Floyd, and Lee Trevino as the only golfers to win a US Open, a Players Championship, and a PGA Championship in their careers (and only Kaymer has won a US Open and Players in the same year).
It was everything the numbers tell you it was. It was determined and heady and efficient and in the end it was a majestic, all-time major performance at the toughest golf tournament on the planet.
As the church bells tolled Kaymer walked up No. 18 with Fowler and the two shared a smile and a chat. Then Kaymer played No. 18 (see his final putt in the video below) exactly the way Payne Stewart played it back in 1999 when he won at Pinehurst.
He even made a long par putt at the last.
You can add “beautiful” to the list of things this performance was.
Payne would be proud, Martin. He would be very proud.