The sun was tucking behind some clouds into the western horizon over Pinehurst Sunday evening and casting a soft, golden glow over the proceedings just in front of the 18th green on the No. 2 course. If Martin Kaymer had turned and looked over his right shoulder, through the pine trees he could have seen the steeple of the Village Chapel a few hundred yards away; the chapel clarion was now softly pelting out eight notes at the top of the hour.
USGA President Thomas O’Toole stood at the podium and spoke of the previous champions at Pinehurst—of Ben Hogan and Sam Snead from the sepia-toned era and Payne Stewart and Michael Campbell from the modern epoch—and welcomed the newly anointed U.S. Open champion from Germany to the same heady fraternity.
USGA Executive Director Mike Davis marveled at how Kaymer’s 271 total and eight-stroke victory were forged not only with precise and consistent shots but the planning that went into each of them and the mental fortitude that helped him escape from the few dalliances with trouble he encountered over four days of No. 2.