2012 U.S Open Preview: The Top 10 Contenders.

The toughest major in golf is this week, the U.S Open. It is being held at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, CA. That will be the first time the event will be held there since 1998. Tiger Woods only had 1 major title at that time that’s how long ago it was.

This will be a highly anticipated major as Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Rory Mcilory have all had good moments this year. Bubba Watson comes in as the man with the one shot at the Grand Slam, but I don’t see him winning. Who are the favorites going in?

1. Tiger Woods

Did I really make Tiger Woods the favorite for the U.S Open? I did, but it’s close. He’s not an overwhelming favorite, but coming off a win at the Memorial which was his 2nd of the year Woods has moved back into the short list of world’s best players. For all his struggles the last 3 years, he hasn’t finished outside the top 10 in a U.S Open he’s played in since 2006. He’s also won 3 of these before. Woods can’t overpower the field the way he did years ago, but he can certainly win this event.

All Sports Discussion Odds of Winning: 10 to 1

2. Rory Mcilory

The defending U.S Open Champion was making Top 5 finishes a habit the first few months of the season. After a couple of missed cuts it looked like Mcilory may have peaked on the year, but his top 10 finish at the this week’s St. Jude Classic has righted the ship. Mcilory has the entire package, and I could easily see him winning back to back U.S Opens.

All Sports Discussion Odds of Winning: 12 to 1

3. Phil Mickelson

Mickelson is quietly having a very solid 2012 season. He has 7 top 25 finishes and 5 top 10s. In all honesty, he could easily have won another event or two. With Mickelson it all comes to his driving. He can be so erratic off the tee, and the U.S Open puts such a premium on that part of your game. If he drives the ball reasonably well he can contend. He has 9 top 10 finishes in U.S Opens, but he’s still looking for that elusive first U.S Open title.

All Sports Discussion Odds of Winning: 15 to 1

4. Hunter Mahan

This has been a breakthrough year for Hunter Mahan, and it be might time for him to win that first major. He’s already won two events this year and is ranked 12th is driving accuracy, which as we’ve said is critical at a U.S Open. Mahan is not especially long off the tee, but Olympic Club is not the monster some U.S Open venues have been in the past.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 20 to 1

5. Lee Westwood

There is no question that Lee Westwood is the world’s best player without a major. 8 Top finishes in Majors since 2008, including a couple of top 5’s at U.S Opens. In April, Westwood had a 3rd at the Masters. There isn’t anything to suggest that Westwood can’t again contend in a major, but you have to wonder now if Westwood will really start pressing if he’s close on a Sunday. If there’s a weakness for Westwood, it’s an inconsistent short game.

All Sports Discussion Odds of Winning: 25 to 1

6. Matt Kuchar

The former Georgia Tech star Matt Kuchar has been arguably the most consistent American player on tour the last couple of years. Kuchar is alot like Mahan in that 2012 is looking like a breakthrough year that could include a first major. Kuchar is in the top 25 in driving accuracy and greens in regulation. He also won the Player’s Championship in May. Kuchar as an amateur in 1998 had a top 15 at Olympic Club, so he’ll be at least one player returning with some good memories.  

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 30 to 1

7. Jason Dufner

A year ago nobody knew who Jason Dufner was, now he’s in the top 10 in the World. Since nearly winning the PGA championship this past year, Dufner has become of the better players on tour. In his last 4 events he has 2 wins and a 2nd. That’s impressive stuff. His calm demeanor should serve him well at the grind of a U.S Open. Dufner is also a accurate driver of the ball. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if his name in on the leaderboard come Sunday.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 35 to 1

8. Luke Donald

Donald would seem to have a game perfectly suited for a U.S Open. The World’s number 1 player is a solid driver of the ball, he’s in the top ten in scoring and has tour win this year. He’s never contended at U.S Open and it’s not completely clear why. You have to think he’s eventually going to make a run at one of these.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 40 to 1

9. Dustin Johnson

I’ve long thought Johnson was one of the most talented players on tour. It just seems like when he’s on he can simply overwhelm a golf course. He’s suffered through injuries this year, but a top 20 at the Memorial and then a win at the St. Jude Classic suggests Johnson may be ready to start again contending in majors. His length will be negated somewhat on the par 70 course, but I wouldn’t overlook him.

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 45 to 1

10. Rickie Fowler

Is America’s next young star ready to cash in on a major? The PGA tour sure hopes so. Fowler has plenty of charisma and is already one of the most popular players on tour. The young star finally got his first win at the Wells Fargo Championship and had a run of 4 straight top 10 finishes from the end of April to the end of May. You don’t think the California native might not have the crowd support in his home state?  

All Sports Discussion odds of Winning: 50 to 1


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