Kaymer leads by 5 after tough day

Martin Kaymer of Germany didn’t find it as easy as the first two days, but managed a 2-over-par 72 that gave him a five-stroke lead over Rickie Fowler and Eric Compton heading into the final round of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, N.C.

Kaymer, who set the 36-hole U.S. Open scoring record by starting 65-65–130, highlighted his round with a five-foot eagle putt at No. 5 after a brilliant approach from the junk, and made his only birdie with a seven-foot putt on the 18th hole.

“It was good, because even though I didn’t play as well as I did the first two days, I kept it together,” said Kaymer, the 2010 PGA champion. “I made a couple bad swings on the front nine and ended up in some bad spots, but I only made bogeys.

“The USGA set up the pins in difficult spots today, so 25-to-30 feet away on most greens was pretty good. The easiest one was probably No. 18, and 8-under after 54 holes is a pretty good score.”

Fowler carded five birdies in a round of 67 that tied Compton, the two-time heart transplant recipient, for the low score of the day as the famed No. 2 course finally bared its teeth.

Henrik Stenson, trying to become the first Swedish male golfer to win a major title, recorded two birdies and two bogeys in a 70 and was six shots behind in a tie for fourth with Dustin Johnson, who had a similar scorecard in posting his 70.

Brandt Snedeker shot 72 and was another stroke back in sixth, and Matt Kuchar was one more shot behind after a 71 that left him tied for seventh with Kevin Na, who had a 71, and Brooks Koepka, who totaled 72.

Those were the only nine players at even par or better through 54 holes.

Defending champion Justin Rose shot 70 and was nine strokes behind in a tie for 10th that included Jordan Spieth, who had a 72.

Tournament favorites Adam Scott of Australia (73) and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (74), were 11 shots back in a tie for 16th.

Phil Mickelson, making his first bid to complete the Career Grand Slam, made only one birdie and was tied for 30th after a 72.

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