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Family affair for Kaymer with Father's Day victory

Story highlights

  • U.S. Open winner pays tribute to dad, Horst, after Father's Day victory at Pinehurst
  • German won Players' Championship a month earlier on Mother's Day
  • His mother, Rina, died of complications following skin cancer back in 2008
  • Heart transplant survivor Erik Compton finishes second at the U.S. Open

A month ago, Martin Kaymer paid an emotional tribute to his deceased Mum after winning the Players' Championship on Mother's Day.

On Sunday, the German was victorious again, this time at the U.S. Open and this time on Father's Day, a fitting tribute to his Dad Horst, a retired corporate executive.

"It was nice to win on Mother's Day and our Father's Day [in Germany] was a couple of weeks ago and I didn't get him anything," said Kaymer after a gargantuan eight-shot victory at Pinehurst on Sunday. "Maybe this works today."

The 29-year-old was in a class of his own during the four rounds, carding the lowest score over two rounds in the tournament's history and, from that point, was never really challenged by runners-up Erik Compton and Rickie Fowler.

Read: Martin Kaymer wins U.S. Open

Kaymer plays with a single sunflower on his bag, the favourite flower of his mother Rina, who died of complications from skin cancer in 2008.

Following his Players' Championship victory, Kaymer said holding back the tears: "My mother was always there to be affectionate and show us love. When my Mom passed away, that stopped. Mother's Day is always a nice day."

After his Pinehurst win, the German admitted he still thinks of his mother every day but it was a victory dedicated to his father, who once flew over from Germany to his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, for a mere 24 hours just to celebrate his son overtaking Lee Westwood as world No.1 in the spring of 2011.

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"He says 'next time in Germany, who knows if you'll still No.1 so I just wanted to take the opportunity to say congratulations'," recalled Kaymer of his father's gesture.

"And the next day he flew out to Germany. Not a lot of parents do that, and it was nice. It was a 30-hour trip for pretty much 24 hours there."

A U.S. PGA winner in 2010, Kaymer tried to remodel his game to make it perfect, often leaving the driving range with bleeding hands, with his world ranking plummeting as the changes took time to work.

Bar the Ryder Cup-winning putt in 2012, there were few highlights to speak of, with Kaymer not winning an individual event for two-and-a-half years by the time he was victorious at the Players before becoming the first player from Europe to win the US Open.

"The way I play golf right now, I shouldn't think too much about technique," added Kaymer, reflecting on his restructured game. "I'm very happy with the way I hit the ball."

While Kaymer's recent victories produced a nice family tale, Compton's position as runner-up was even more remarkable given he had twice undergone heart transplants , once in 1992 and again in 2008.

Read: New heart, new hope for Compton

"When you have disabilities or you have health issues, some days are really bad and then you've got to try to make the best of it the next day and wake up and move your body," said Compton, who pocketed $790,000 after his share of second place.

"And I'm the perfect example of that. I've been on my back twice and I never thought I would ever leave the house.

"Now I just finished second at the U.S. Open which I don't think anybody would have ever thought I'd do that. You just can't give up."

Compton was diagnosed with viral cardiomyopathy at the age of nine but suffered a heart attack in 2007 with the new heart he was given aged 12 by a 15-year-old donor who had been killed by a drunk driver.

Compton drove himself to the hospital in Miami, calling his mother Eli to tell her he didn't think he would survive.

Seven months later, he underwent another transplant, this time from a 26-year-old killed on his motorbike by a hit-and-run driver.

As a result, the pressure of the business end of a major tournament is relative child's play for Compton.

"I have been through a lot in my life," he said, "and a lot more adrenaline pressure situations than hitting a tee shot on 18."