Martin Kaymer leads after round 1 of US Open

Martin Kaymer produced a fine 65 to open up a three-shot lead after the first round of the 114th US Open at Pinehurst

Martin Kaymer
Martin Kaymer leads the US Open after round 1 at Pinehurst
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Martin Kaymer produced a fine 65 to open up a three-shot lead after the first round of the 114th US Open at Pinehurst

Martin Kaymer produced a fine 65 to open up a three-shot lead after the first round of the 114th US Open at Pinehurst.

The German, who started in the afternoon wave, negotiated the front nine in one-under-par 34 before catching fire on the back nine.

The Players Champion birdied the par-5 10th and picked up shots at 14, 16 and 17 - the latter a product of a fine 5-iron approach - before a nine-foot par putt at the 18th saw him home in 65 - the lowest score in a US Open at Pinehurst.

"It was very nice. I didn't make any mistakes. And finally I could make some putts on 15, 16 and 17," said Kaymer.

"If you shoot anything under par or level par on that golf course, it's good.

"I watched some golf this morning and I was very surprised how playable it was because I played yesterday morning in practice and it was very firm. They must have put a lot of water on the greens last night."

The USGA, however, will ensure the course gets harder as the week progresses, with level par already looking like a great 72-hole score.

In the morning wave, 2010 champion Graeme McDowell eagled the par-5 5th en route to an opening 68, a score matched by Kevin Na, who missed out in a play-off at The Memorial two weeks ago.

Burly Zimbabwean Brendon De Jonge and American qualifier Fran Quinn also sit in a tie for 2nd ahead of a 10-strong group at one-under-par, which includes the likes of Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Keegan Bradley.

Ian Poulter and Phil Mickelson are a shot further back on level, with defending champion Justin Rose recovering from a poor front nine to card a two-over-par 74.

It was a poor day for Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, though. The former birdied the last for a 77 while the latter made seven bogeys on his way to a 75.

Nick Bonfield
Features Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, writing, commissioning and coordinating all features across print and online. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x