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US Open Golf Predictions 2012: Rory McIlroy's Repeat Chances

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US Open Golf Predictions 2012: Rory McIlroy's Repeat Chances
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy is back to the defend his title at the U.S. Open, looking to regain the magic that took him to win it in record-setting fashion.

He obliterated the field last year at Congressional Country Club, winning by eight strokes, but this year at the Olympic Club he will face a whole different kind of monster, not only with the course, but with the opposition of the world's elite players, starting with three-time champion and former No. 1 player in the world Tiger Woods.

Woods seems to be back in top form and is the odds-on favorite to win the tournament, despite McIlroy's performance last year.

Luke Donald, No. 1 in the world and Lee Westwood, No. 3 in the world, are also present to challenge for the title.

Players like Jason Dufner, arguably the hottest player on the PGA Tour, Masters champion Bubba Watson and Players Championship winner Matt Kuchar are also some of the main challengers this weekend.

Also, four-time major winner Phil Mickelson has to be included on any talk surrounding the possible winners at any tournament, especially a major.

But will McIlroy be able to successfully defend his title? Let's take a look at some of the determining factors for his chances at becoming just the fourth player ever to win the U.S. Open in consecutive years.

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