World No.1 Adam Scott made a significant move up the US Open leaderboard but German Martin Kaymer streaked away at the top midway through the second round at Pinehurst No.2.
Scott put together his best ever round in a US Open with a three-under 67, just the second time in 38 attempts he’s been in the 60s and the third time under par.
It moved the Queenslander to even par for the tournament, sharing a tie for 15th when he finished, but now a whopping 10 shots adrift of the man dubbed the Germanator.
Kaymer posted his second consecutive round of 65 to move to 10-under 130, the lowest total in US Open history through 36 holes.
He led by eight over the other morning finishers, with Americans Brooks Koepka (68), Dustin Johnson (69), Keegan Bradley (69) and Zimbabwe’s Brendon De Jonge (70) in the clubhouse at two under.
Kaymer was bogey-free and never looked like flinching after sleeping on a three-shot lead.
But Scott, with four birdies and just the lone bogey, at least gave himself a chance to do some damage over the weekend.
“I needed a good one today,” Scott said.
“I think I probably got the better end of the draw on the first two days, coming out early after a bit of soaking rain overnight and that front nine certainly we could fire a little more aggressively at the pins.
“I hit some good shots and made some putts today and it still felt like hard work, but I’m very happy with the score.”
When asked if he would have taken a 67 prior to the start of the round given Kaymer’s dominance Scott was adamant he would have been happy with even worse.
“I would have taken a 70 this morning,” he said.
“Even par at a US Open is a great score even if it’s the easiest conditions ever.
“I’m not saying it is, but if you shoot even par at a US open set up that’s a good round of golf.
The rest of the morning wave Australians will be battling to make the cut.
Rod Pampling moved to six over for the tournament after a 73, John Senden struggled to a 76 to be seven over where he was joined by 2006 champion Geoff Ogilvy after the Victorian carded a 74.
Aaron Baddeley has a chance to make a run at Kaymer, starting the afternoon at even par.
Oliver Goss, Jason Day, Matt Jones, Brady Watt, Aron Price and Robert Allenby are all also out in the afternoon.