MARTIN Kaymer set his sights on winning the Open Championship at Hoylake to complete a ‘German Grand Slam’ following his dominant triumph in the US Open.
Kaymer cruised to an eight-shot, wire-to-wire victory over Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton at Pinehurst to add the US Open title to his US PGA Championship victory in 2010.
And with his friend and mentor Bernhard Langer having won the US Masters twice, the Open is the only major championship yet to have been won by a German player.
“We almost have the German Grand Slam, it’s only the Open missing,” Kaymer joked after a final round of 69 gave him a nine-under-par total of 271, the second lowest total in US Open history. “Winning the PGA, winning this one now, I hope it will make Bernhard proud. I’m sure it will make all Germany proud.”
Successive rounds of 65 - the lowest in a US Open at Pinehurst - meant Kaymer had equalled the lowest halfway total in major championship history, as well as eclipsing the US Open record of 131 set by Rory McIlroy at Congressional in 2011.
His six-shot halfway lead also matched the championship record shared by Tiger Woods (2000) and McIlroy (2011), while he joined McIlroy in becoming the only players to reach double digits under par in the first two rounds.
A third round of 72 in testing conditions only reduced his lead by a single shot and no-one got closer than four behind in a final round which may have lacked drama, but which succeeded in identifying a worthy winner now 11th in the world after lying outside the top 60 last month.
With LPGA players watching from inside the ropes ahead of the US Women’s Open getting under way on Thursday - the first time they have been held back-to-back on the same course - Kaymer never looked like becoming the first player since Mike Brady in 1919 to relinquish a five-shot lead after 54 holes.
The tee on the par-four third had been brought forward to tempt players into driving the green and Kaymer did precisely that, two-putting from long range for birdie to move to nine under par.
A bogey on the seventh saw Kaymer’s lead reduced to four shots after Compton picked up his second birdie of the day on the eighth, but the 34-year-old promptly bogeyed the ninth after failing to get up and down from a greenside bunker.
Kaymer made no such mistake with a superb tee shot setting up a birdie from five feet, but, after Compton reduced the gap once more on the par-five 10th and Kaymer took six on the same hole after thinning his third over the green, Compton released the pressure with a bogey on the 11th.
Birdies on the 13th and 14th emphasised the Ryder Cup hero’s domination and a bogey on the 16th did nothing to distract from a masterful display.