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Tour Confidential: Is Martin Kaymer golf's new king? Plus, Phil Mickelson's putting problems and Pinehurst's new look

Martin Kaymer
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Martin Kaymer's eight-shot victory was the seventh wire-to-wire victory win in the 114 year history of the U.S. Open.

Every Sunday night, conducts an e-mail roundtable with writers from Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

1. Martin Kaymer followed up his Players Championship by winning this U.S. Open wire-to-wire. Does pro golf have a new boss or do Adam Scott and Bubba Watson still have some claim to the title?

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated (@AlanShipnuck): Kaymer is a much better putter and closer than Scott. He has way more grit and on-course smarts than Bubba. His life is a million times more settled than Rory McIlroy's. He's the guy until proven otherwise.

Joe Passov, senior editor, Golf Magazine (@joepassov): Kaymer wasn't on the radar when he won the Players -- this could be simply a super-hot streak, on par with Henrik Stenson's summer/fall run in 2013, though Kaymer's wins are much bigger. Adam and Bubba have shown significantly more consistency, and deserve their present status above Kaymer. That said, Wow! Kaymer just blew these two guys (and everyone else) off the playing field on a course that didn't favor any one style. Could be in three months time, Kaymer regains his No. 1 ranking.

Jessica Marksbury, assistant editor, Golf Magazine (@Jess_Marksbury): YES! Kaymer is the new boss for sure. Scott's win at Colonial was impressive, but Kaymer has both the Players and a major championship under his belt, and that's just this year! In the here-and-now world, he's my No. 1 for sure.

Josh Sens, contributing writer, Golf Magazine (@JoshSens): Meet the new boss, different from last month's boss, and very likely different from the boss six months from now. That's the Tour today. Remember when Tiger Woods was boss? He wasn't the kind of guy you'd want to have drinks with after work. I miss him. He was frightening and compelling, and I don't think we'll ever see anyone intimidate his colleagues like that again.

Eamon Lynch, managing editor, (@eamonlynch): Who rules the golf roost is open to debate (but it ain't Bubba). However, let’s take a moment to consider how the Official World Golf Ranking has again been exposed as woefully flawed. After winning the U.S. Open and the Players in the past month, Kaymer is now deemed the 11th best player in the game. This system might have Bernhard Langer ranked higher.

Jeff Ritter, senior editor, Sports Illustrated Golf Group (@Jeff_Ritter): Kaymer dusted the field on the toughest course the guys will play all year, so I'd say he's the boss. We've passed through a stretch that produced several first-time major-winners, but with Kaymer now joining Bubba as a multiple champion, he emphatically adds his name to the list of today's greatest players. And because Kaymer's game is so solid in all areas (Scott can still be a shaky putter, Bubba wavers on courses he can't overpower), I'd put him right at the top. He's the best player in the world right now.

Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine (@CameronMorfit): It's a little hard to say at the moment, what with the speed that things are changing at the top. I'll go with Kaymer, not because he won by eight but because he seems to be able to self-correct when things are going wrong. Even though his coach, Gunter Kessler, was here on site, Kaymer's agent told me he figured out his driver problems by himself between the third and fourth rounds. Impressive.

Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated (@MarkGodich): Kaymer has won more majors than Scott, is several years younger than both Scott and Bubba, and is the first player to win the Players and the Open in the same year. I don't think there's any question that Kaymer is the new king.

2. In Sunday’s final round, in which early starters like Keegan Bradley and Jim Furyk proved low scores were possible, no one made any sort of charge at Martin Kaymer. Does today’s generation of golfers lack guts?

PASSOV: There's so much money to be made for top 10 finishes and off-course endorsements that the incentive to win isn't as pressing as it was a generation or two ago. Today's contenders aren't lacking guts. They're lacking the combo of talent, patience and creativity to cope with the test that Pinehurst No. 2 threw at them.

MORFIT: I'd say today's generation of golfers sometimes lacks putts, as in made putts. Rory took 125 putts on the week, which was four more than even Phil. That's not very good. The flatstick is what separates Kaymer, as we saw this week and when he made that bomb on 17 at TPC Sawgrass.

RITTER: It's disappointing no one made a charge at Kaymer because we all could've used a little Sunday drama, but I don't attribute that to the pursuers' lack of guts. Pinehurst was just a really hard weekend setup. Only two guys shot under-par rounds on Saturday, and 11 (including Kaymer) went under-par Sunday. The field's best hope was for Kaymer to somehow stumble back to them. Keine chance.

LYNCH: Low scores are always out there on Sunday morning for players who are already thinking about beating traffic to the airport. Sunday afternoons are different. There are plenty of hall of famers who never made a run at Tiger on a Sunday in a major when the opportunity presented itself, but no one is suggesting Phil or Ernie lack competitive guts. It was a blowout win by an excellent golfer. How the rest of the field finished where they did is immaterial.

MARKSBURY: Tough to know. Tiger is the only player I've ever seen in the last decade who's seemed capable of turning on his game at a moment's notice and willing the ball into the hole when he needed it. It's a singular talent, and especially difficult to "force" it at a U.S. Open, so I can't really blame Fowler or Compton for lacking guts. Mostly, they were lacking an opening.

GODICH: It's a heck of a lot easier to play free and easy when you've got no shot at winning. Quite frankly, I was impressed by how Rickie Fowler and Eric Compton held it together. And maybe we should just give credit to Kaymer. You don't beat the field by eight shots without playing lights-out golf.

SENS: More like lack of experience. Aside from Scott, not a lot of major title holders in the realistic mix to start the day. What's more, this wasn't Sunday at the John Deere. Nobody was going to shoot a 63. The best shot anyone had was for Kaymer to stumble, and he didn't, proving that a lack of guts is not his problem.

SHIPNUCK:  Nah, that's not it. Take away Kaymer and all the top guys were bunched around par. It was a very difficult course to go low on. What Kaymer did over the opening 36 holes was historic -- give credit where credit is due.

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