Germany's Martin Kaymer, ice-cool in hot conditions, confirmed his status as one of the game's very best by coasting to his second major victory by eight shots in Sunday's final round at the U.S. Open Championship.
Five ahead at the start of another humid day at Pinehurst Resort, the 29-year-old from Dusseldorf left his closest pursuers trailing in his wake as he closed with a one-under-par 69 on the challenging No. 2 Course.
Kaymer, whose first major win came at the 2010 PGA Championship, mixed two birdies with one bogey in the last six holes on a layout where danger lurked at every corner to post a nine-under total of 271, the second lowest ever at the event.
The former world number one, who had struggled for much of 2012 while working on his swing to develop a draw, became the first German to win the U.S. Open and the seventh player to complete a wire-to-wire victory at the year's second major.
After soaking up a standing ovation as he walked along the 18th fairway and on to the green, Kaymer sank a 15-foot putt for par, dropping his putter in delight a few seconds before the ball disappeared into the cup.
"To win one major is already very nice in your career, but to win two, it means a lot more," Kaymer, who took a stranglehold on the championship by firing successive 65s in the first two rounds to lead by six shots, told reporters.
"Even though I don't feel like I need to prove anything to a lot of people, somehow it's quite satisfying to have two under your belt. I played really, really well on Thursday and Friday and that gave me a really nice cushion.
"But I would say it was probably the toughest day that I have played golf today .... especially the first nine. If you have two or three Americans chasing you, playing in America, it's never easy being a foreigner."
Rickie Fowler, who played with Kaymer in the final pairing, carded a 72 to tie for second at one under, level with fellow American Erik Compton, a double heart-transplant recipient who also signed off with a 72 in only his second major appearance.
However, the tournament was Kaymer's to win or lose as he headed into the final round with a commanding lead and he prevented his rivals from making significant