PINEHURST, N.C. - Martin Kaymer started his second round in the U.S. Open on Friday morning with birdies in three of his first 10 holes to jump to 8-under for the tournament. There to take it all in was his older brother, Philip Kaymer, a good amateur player in their native Germany.
"Martin looks very confident," Philip said. "It's good to see him playing so well."
Philip said that Martin has grown immensely as a player since he won the 2010 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits -- a year when the 29-year-old Dusseldorf native won four times worldwide.
In 2011, when Martin entered the Masters as No. 1 in the world, he struggled to hit the demanding draws off the tee at Augusta with his driver, and it hurt his confidence.
"Martin is a more complete golfer now," Philip said. "When he won the PGA he was able to hit the draw, but now he can hit it whenever he wants to hit it."
The 31-year-old Philip travels with his brother to five to seven events a year.
After Martin's first-round 65 on Thursday, they didn't talk much about the round. Instead, they went to a local Outback Steakhouse for ribs.
It's never easy for a sibling or a parent of a player in contention at a big tournament. On Friday morning, Philip followed his brother around Pinehurst No. 2 with Martin's manager, Johan Elliot.
"From time to time, I get nervous when I watch Martin," Philip said. "When he stood over that winning putt during the Ryder Cup at Medinah, I think I was way more nervous than he was."
Martin is one of the methodical and organized players in the game, not unlike his countryman Bernhard Langer, but he has a lighter side.
"He's that way on the golf course, but he's a pretty funny guy when he's away from the game," Philip said.
Philip is confident that his brother will not lose his focus and start looking too forward ahead to what might be if he won the U.S. Open on Sunday evening.
"Martin always says that he's not thinking about the other players," Philip said. "He does get affected watching the leaderboard, but he really does try to concentrate on hitting one shot at a time."
Elliot was happy to see that Martin's putting has rounded into good form.
"If you look to the past, he's been a very good putter, especially pressure putts," Elliot said. "You could say for a time that he didn't make as many as he used to, but the way he is putting now is more like what he expects from himself."
Martin, who won the Players Championship in May, has a chance to become the first German to win a U.S. Open.