Win proves Kaymer no 1-hit wonder

And there will be those who will say his win had less drama than a third-grade school play, that it was boring and forgettable. It wasn't forgettable to anyone who saw him set a 36-hole U.S. Open record with 65-65. It wasn't forgettable to those who listened to post-round comments, which were a grocery bag full of humor, introspection and humility. It wasn't forgettable to those who chased him this week.

"I think we were all playing for second," said Erik Compton, who finished tied for second with Rickie Fowler.

You could root for two-time heart transplant survivor Compton, and the young Fowler, and whomever else you liked on the Sunday list of contenders. But you can't root against Kaymer. By now, and at the very least, he should have earned your respect, if not your admiration.

"To win one major is already very nice in your career," Kaymer said. "But to win two, it means a lot more. Some friends, they called me a 'one-hit wonder' with the majors, obviously in a funny way. And now I can go back and show them this one."

Kaymer came to Pinehurst ranked No. 28 in the world. He'll leave here with his second significant win in as many months. He has to be on the short list of favorites at the Open Championship in July.

McIlroy has played well this year, but he was no real factor at the Masters or here. Bubba talked himself out of contending before the U.S. Open even began -- again. Phil Mickelson isn't speaking to his putter these days (he finished 7-over). Scott worked his way into a top-10 finish, but never challenged.

Meanwhile, we await word from Tiger's world headquarters in Jupiter, Florida, on when his surgically repaired back will allow him to return. So far, silence.

Until then, we are lucky enough to watch Act III of Kaymer's golf life. It goes like this:

Rise. Fall. Rise.

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