PINEHURST, N.C. — Martin Kaymer shot the best 36-hole score in U.S. Open history Friday with his second straight 5-under 65.
Taking advantage of a course softened by overnight rain, Kaymer was at 10-under 130 midway through a tournament he is turning into a rout. He matched the 36-hole mark at any major championship, set by Nick Faldo in the 1992 British Open at Muirfield.
Kaymer walked off Pinehurst No. 2 with a staggering eight-shot lead while many of the top contenders — including six-time runner-up Phil Mickelson and defending champion Justin Rose — were just teeing off.
The largest 36-hole lead at the U.S. Open is six shots, set by Tiger Woods in 2000 and matched by Rory McIlroy three years ago. Both captured the championship by large margins.
"It's not a done deal," Kaymer insisted. "You don't approach Saturday and Sunday in a relaxed way. There's never a time where you can relax. Unless it's Sunday afternoon and you're raising the trophy, then you can relax. Until then, you've got to keep playing."