Kaymer sealed Open title early

Martin Kaymer never let any other players even think they had a sniff at winning the U.S. Open past Friday afternoon.

So what's next for the German? And how did Pinehurst No. 2 fare in the year's second major?

Our scribes dive in on those topics and more in the latest edition of Four-Ball.

1. Where did Martin Kaymer win the U.S. Open?

Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Martin Kaymer won the U.S. Open on Saturday with his 72. The birdie he made on the 18th hole in Round 3 gave him an insurmountable lead, allowing him to play freely Sunday knowing he could make mistakes and still survive.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Kaymer won the U.S. Open in the third round. At the fourth hole Saturday, he hit a horrendous drive. He could have tried to make the miracle shot from an impossible lie, but he took an unplayable penalty stroke and went on to make a great bogey. Then he eagled the next hole to recoup the 2 shots he had lost on Nos. 2 and 4. Had he made triple at the fourth, the complexion of the tournament would have been drastically altered.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: On the front nine Saturday. As great as his opening 65-65 performance was, it was Saturday when he didn't have his best stuff and held it together. The eagle at the fifth hole was especially important. It steadied the round.

Ian O'Connor, ESPNNewYork.com columnist: When he showed up on the first tee Thursday. Winner of a PGA Championship and a Players, maker of a Ryder Cup-clinching putt, Kaymer proved again that he's a big-game player, shooting his 65 in Round 1 and backing it up with a 65 in Round 2. This guy combines Dustin Johnson's lean athleticism with Ben Hogan's unwavering focus. He's not done winning majors.

Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com senior national columnist: Not where, but when? He won it with his back-to-back 65s to open the tournament. He basically used a stun gun on the rest of the field.

2. Bigger surprise, Martin Kaymer's dominating win or Erik Compton's inspirational T-2?

Collins: As amazing as Kaymer's performance was, I wouldn't call it "surprising." Compton playing in only his second major shooting 68-67 with bookend 72s shows a game and (I hate to say it) heart that many in golf didn't know he had.

Evans: Compton taking second was certainly the biggest surprise of the week. Playing in only his second career major, he handled himself like a major champion. He knows that his story is very special, but he didn't let it burden him Sunday. He played through his history and the brutality of Pinehurst No. 2 for what has to be the most memorable week of his career.

Harig: Compton. Kaymer's win at the Players Championship last month showed his game was back, and he performed beautifully this week. But Compton had never finished better than fourth in any PGA Tour event. To tie for second -- after having to qualify in a playoff -- is remarkable and gives him a great platform.

O'Connor: Compton, and it's not even close. If you thought Tom Watson was a remarkable story by nearly winning the Open Championship at age 59, this was Watson times two. A guy working on his third heart finished in second place, under par, in a U.S. Open? That is positively absurd.

Wojciechowski: Compton's second-place finish is the second-best story of this U.S. Open, maybe tied for first in many ways. Compton just recorded the best finish of his PGA Tour career and now gets to play in his first Masters. As he said, he doesn't want to be known as the guy with two heart transplants.

3. What will be your lasting memory of the 2014 U.S. Open?

Collins: My lasting memory will be the course. As I did Golfcast all four days, I was amazed at how people complained that the setup was too easy. But as the championship moved toward its conclusion, I laughed at the confusion people seemed to have as to why pros were struggling with it. In the end, the course and its setup proved valid for a major.

Evans: Compton is my lasting memory. Long after the tournament had been decided, there was Compton battling to the end to finish strong.

Harig: There isn't a great memory, frankly. The tournament lacked buzz almost from the beginning because of Kaymer's domination. But good for him. We'll certainly remember his strong performance at Pinehurst.

O'Connor: Rickie Fowler dressed up as Payne Stewart on Thursday. Maybe ultratalented Fowler deserves some heat for having only one tour victory to his name, but this was a moving tribute to the late, great champ of Pinehurst.

Wojciechowski: The grace, dignity and humility of Compton. The grace, dignity and humility of Kaymer.

4. Give Pinehurst No. 2 a letter grade after hosting the 114th U.S. Open.

Collins: A-plus. Through soft conditions where pros seemed to have an advantage early in the week and as the course dried out, even with no wind, Pinehurst No. 2 proved that its intended Donald Ross design could beat up the best in the world, leaving 153 players over par and scratching their collective heads.

Evans: A-plus. It was fair and tough. Only three players finished under par. Take Martin Kaymer out of the field and you have a championship that resembles Merion last year.

Harig: A. It's one of America's most famous venues, and it came across great this week. Despite Kaymer's dominance, it gave everyone else fits. Only three players under par on a course with no rough? Impressive.

O'Connor: B-plus. Hard to say this test was too difficult when one player finished at 9 under. Loved the British Open look. I don't think the USGA should start removing its trademark treacherous rough from all venues, but I thought this curveball worked.

Wojciechowski: A solid B. Loved the look of the course. Not sure I loved the USGA setup. But if the goal was to keep red numbers off the board, mission accomplished. Only three players under par.