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US Open: Defending golf champ Kaymer makes case for defence

By Phil Casey

Defending champion Martin Kaymer is happy to fly under the radar as he looks to become the first player to win back-to-back US Open titles since Curtis Strange in 1989.

Kaymer left the field trailing when claiming his second major at Pinehurst 12 months ago, setting a tournament record of 130 with opening rounds of 65 and winning by eight shots.

It was the German's second wire-to-wire victory of the season after he led from start to finish in the Players Championship at Sawgrass, while he also helped Europe retain the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

However, after blowing a 10-shot lead in the Abu Dhabi Championship in January and finishing fourth a fortnight later in Dubai, Kaymer has missed the cut in four of his nine events - including the Irish Open at Royal County Down last month - with a best finish of joint 18th in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

And with Phil Mickelson seeking a win at Chambers Bay to complete the career grand slam, Masters champion Jordan Spieth targeting a second major in succession and Ulster's world number one Rory McIlroy in the spotlight, Kaymer has taken a back seat in the build-up.

"A lot of times I'm under the radar, which is fine," he said.

"Jordan, what he has done this year (in the Masters), it was impressive that he didn't miss many putts. He played very aggressively down the stretch.

"Then what Rickie (Fowler) did at the Players, how bravely he played. And then Rory - and those guys they're all four or five years younger than me, so they should get the credit.

"What they've done more recently is more important than my win last year."

Further Reading

US Open: Rory McIlroy hopes to be the story 

US Open: Rickie Fowler targets his fifth major joy 

US Open: Darren Clarke says Chambers Bay course has potential to make us look stupid  

  US Open: Defending golf champ Kaymer makes case for defence

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