Germany’s Martin Kaymer is the king of Pinehurst after dominating the field to win the US Open by eight shots with the second lowest total in the tournament’s history.
Former world No.1 Kaymer, 29, claimed his second major title – he also won the 2010 US PGA Championship – when he fired a closing one-under 69 to finish at nine-under-par 271 on the difficult Pinehurst No.2 course in North Carolina.
Set up by stunning opening rounds of 65, former world No.1 Kaymer led wire-to-wire for just the eighth time in US Open history, joining Walter Hagan (1914), James Barnes (1921), Ben Hogan (1953), Tony Jacklin (1970), Tiger Woods (2000, 2002) and Rory McIlroy (2011) as the only men to do so.
Americans Rickie Fowler (72) and Erik Compton (72) shared a distant second placing.
Compton, a double heart transplant recipient playing in just his second major, created the feel good story of the week, qualifying for the British Open, PGA Championship and next year’s Masters with his result.
The rest of the field failed to break par for the championship.
Australian Jason Day shot a closing 68 to finish one-over and in a tie for fourth, his seventh top-10 finish in majors in just 14 starts.
Countryman and world No.1 Adam Scott (69) claimed his best US Open result when tied ninth at two-over.
Kaymer’s score of 271 has only been bettered by McIlroy, who had 268 when he won by eight shots from Day in 2011.
The man from Dusseldorf became the first man from continental Europe to win the US Open and the fourth European winner in five seasons.
He joined Bernhard Langer as the only dual major winners from his native land.
Day’s fourth placing gets him a start at next year’s Masters and US Opens after already being exempt into the British Open and PGA Championship later this year.
The 26-year-old looked likely to get a run going after knocking in a 10-foot birdie on the second hole but failed to get any of his next five birdie chances – all between 10 and 20 feet – to drop.
Another birdie on 15 was tempered by a final hole bogey but with his injury worries finally behind him he was smiling.
“The goal today was try and go bogey-free and make a move,” Day said.
“Obviously the last putt there didn’t help that, but I’m not disappointed at all.
“Being out for so long, this is my second real tournament back after the injury on one of the biggest stages, as well as against the best players in the world so I’m pretty pleased.”
Scott had mixed feelings about his finish.
“It’s a step in the right direction but I wished I would have been closer,” Scott said.
“I felt like my game really came into a good spot today, so it would have been nice to have started the day under par and tried to make something happen.
“But it was just a few too many errors throughout the first three rounds.”
Fellow Australian Aaron Baddeley shot two-over on his final round to be six-over and a tie for 23rd.