The U.S. Open is the second major of the golf year and is trademarked as "Golf's Toughest Test."
Most of the time it fits the bill as such, frustrating elite players since nothing ever turns out the way anyone expects.
Players make their plans on how to survive the course, but hardly anything goes according to plan.
Last year Rory McIlroy defied all reasoning and destroyed 11 tournament records on his way to winning his first career major title in a runaway.
This year he comes into the tournament off some of his worst career performances, but maybe the familiar setting could help him get back on track.
Three-time champ Tiger Woods is back to being relevant again. He has won twice already this year and is the odds-on favorite to win the tournament. All eyes are on him as he tries to inch closer to Jack Nicklaus' all-time major record.
Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, ranked No. 1 and No. 3 in the world respectively, are recognized as two of the best players to never have won a Major. They come into the tournament playing at their best and poised to leave that recognition behind.
There are some other players that are not getting as much buzz as the top elite players on the field. And in a tournament where surprises are bound to happen, we must also pay attention to them.
Lucas Glover was the last surprise winner of the event in 2009. He was ranked 71st in the world when he won and had never made the cut in his three previous U.S. Open appearances.
Let's take a look at some of those possible surprises to win this year's U.S. Open.
Baddeley has missed the cut the past two years and his best finish is a T13 in 2007 at Oakmont Country Club.
He has two Top 10s and two Top 20s this year highlighted by his fourth-place finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
He comes from a T9 finish at the Memorial where he was in the mix for most of the tournament.
At Olympic Club putting will be key, and Baddeley is the PGA's strokes-gained-putting leader. If there is a real dark horse to win, he is the one.
Byrd has played the U.S. Open only three times. He finished T15 on his first try in 2003, but missed the cut last year and in 2008.
This year Byrd is tied for first in Top 10 finishes and has been playing his best golf in the past month.
He has three Top 10s in his last four tournaments and finished T12 on the other.
He is a player that is hot coming into the tournament and has been steady as of late which could be key for a win here this weekend.
Poulter's best finish was a T12 in 2006 and he missed the cut last year.
He has four Top 10s in his last seven tournaments including a third-place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and a seventh-place at The Masters.
Poulter is third in greens in regulation and fourth in driving accuracy on the European Tour.
He is peaking at the right time and showing signs of the kind of play that made him a Top 10 player in 2010.
The 2003 champion has also finished second twice in this tournament although he missed the cut last year.
Furyk has been playing very well as of late with a fourth-place finish at the Crowne Plaza Invitational and a T13 at the Memorial.
Earlier in the year he finished T2 at the Transitions tournament and 11th at The Masters.
Furyk is second in driving accuracy, third in proximity to the hole and fourth in scoring average on the PGA Tour, three very key stats to a win this weekend.
Besides Tiger Woods and Retief Goosen, Els is the only other multiple-time U.S. Open winner in the field—in 1994 and 1997.
After a very disappointing 2011 and start of 2012, Els has been able to start contending again.
He lost in a playoff to Jason Dufner at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and before that he finished T5 at the Transitions Championship and T4 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The Big Easy knows how to play U.S. Open golf, and being a contender again makes him a player to watch and capable of winning it for the third time.
Hanson has five Top Five finishes this year, including at the season's first World Golf Championship events.
He has been successful overseas and just finished T3 at the Nordea Masters contending the whole tournament.
He had the lead after three rounds at the Nordea Masters with a one stroke advantage heading into the final round. He then started his final round with two bogeys in the opening three holes and never recovered from there.
Hanson has been improving his finishes at the U.S. Open the past three years as he has finished T18, T16 and T7 last year.
This could be the year he breaks through and wins it to become the first male Swede to win a major.
Garcia is still looking for that elusive first major win. He has been successful at the U.S. Open with four Top 10s including last year's T7 finish.
He went on a tear late last year which took him to back-to-back wins at the Castello Masters Costa Azahar and Andalucia Masters.
He kept up his great play and peaked at No. 16 in the world after back-to-back Top Five finishes at the start of the year.
Garcia then went on a mini-slump but now has two Top Five finishes in his last three tournaments with a T13 on the other.
He is another player that is peaking at the right time and could very well get that first major here.
The last time the U.S. Open was held at The Olympic Club in 1998, Stricker tied for fifth, playing in the final round with winner Lee Janzen.
He went on to finish fifth again the next year and since then his best finish was a T6 in 2006.
In 2007 at Oakmont he was tied for the lead as he made the turn, but then unraveled on the back nine finishing T13.
Stricker won the Tournament of Champions to start the year, but has been on a mini-slump in his past five tournaments.
He is second on the PGA in proximity to the hole, but while he is widely recognized as one of the best putters in the game he hasn’t been putting well.
Stricker has dealt with a herniated disc in his neck since early 2011, but he is fresh and rested for what should be a busy summer schedule starting with the U.S. Open.
The rest should do him well and if he tunes up his putting Stricker is always a threat to win on a course like this one.
Johnson, the 2007 Masters champion, has not been successful at the U.S. Open with the T30 last year his best finish.
But before missing the cut this past weekend at the FedEx St. Jude he had two second-place finishes and a win at the Crowne Plaza Invitational.
He took down the PGA's hottest player, Jason Dufner on that final round to win the tournament even when he incurred a two-stroke penalty on the last hole that would have been costly.
He ad to be thankful he was leading Dufner by three at the time.
Johnson is fourth in scrambling and sixth in Strokes Gained-Putting and Scoring Average on the PGA Tour.
His recent play makes him a candidate to win here this weekend.