The best players at the U.S. Open are ready to shine.
There are plenty of good players in the tournament, but these are the best of the best. According to reports, the Olympic Club is playing incredibly tough. The top players will need to shine at the end of their rounds in order to win the tournament.
It's the U.S. Open, so naturally the course will play tough. The best players have the best chance to keep their heads and put together solid rounds.
Matt Kuchar is a solid player.
He is a good putter and he has the ability to hang around in just about any tournament. The course will be tough and putting will be a huge part of staying in contention.
If players can't quite figure out the tough course, scores could be around par all week, and Kuchar would be in prime position to win.
The defending champion isn't mentally tough enough to win this year's U.S. Open.
Rory McIlroy ran away with the tournament last year, but that won't happen again this year. The course will be a lot tougher and it will test the golfers from start to finish.
While McIlroy is a great talent, he has proven his inability to handle intense pressure. If the going gets tough, McIlroy fades.
You can't count out a defending champion, but you can certainly doubt him.
Dustin Johnson just can't quite put it all together at a major.
He has finished in the top 10 in three of the four majors, but he's never won. At some point in the weekend, he slips up and loses focus. If he can stay focused from start to finish, he has a great chance to lift the trophy.
Similarly, he has a great drive and a solid putter. Unfortunately, that in-between nonsense has hurt him. If he can put together a solid showing from start to finish, he could win his first ever major.
Lee Westwood is a great player.
However, he's never won a major.
Could that change this weekend? Possibly, but I wouldn't count on it.
Westwood is a solid player. He won't make egregious mistakes, and he won't take sabotage himself. With that said, he struggles in taking the extra step to win on the biggest stages.
The Olympic Club will be a tough course this year, and that could play perfectly into Westwood's unwavering hands.
Hunter Mahan seems to be the hipster fan's pick.
"Not many people know Mahan? Well, they should. He's going to win the U.S. Open."
Mahan is a solid player, but don't let his trending anti-popularity trick you. He can hang around the tournament, and he could make a run. But Mahan is by no means a favorite.
Jason Dufner may not have the resume, but he's having quite the season.
He's finished in the top two in three of his last four tournaments. He has the game to survive, and that's what the U.S. Open is all about.
Other big names might be trying to make things happen. Meanwhile, Dufner will be playing his game and just hanging around. In a tournament like this, that might be exactly what he needs to do.
Luke Donald is extremely talented.
Unfortunately, he's never quite shown that off in a major.
He's come close to winning, but he's never done enough to capture a major title. If he plays well this week, that could all change. If not, we'll just keep musing about how great he could be.
It'll be interesting to see how Bubba Watson follows up the biggest win of his career.
He had a legendary performance at the Masters, and this is the first major since then. If he can follow that up with another monster performance, he would all of a sudden be considered the best golfer in the world, right?
Watson is in a great threesome on Thursday (the guys ahead of him on this list), and it could bring out the best in him right away. As a front-runner, Watson could very well run away with the title.
Phil Mickelson has made it a habit of coming close in majors.
He has won a couple, but you always expect him to find a way to lose. He's one of the greatest players of this generation, but he is more notable for his failures than his successes.
Lefty has been solid, but this tournament could catapult him back to the top. If he can play well from start to finish, everyone will start thinking about his successes instead of his near-successes.
Tiger Woods isn't "back."
Frankly, there is no way he will ever be "back" to the old Woods. And I'm talking on the course.
Woods was one of the most dominant athletes of all time, and it would be nearly impossible for him to reach that level of dominance again. With that said, he's still one of the most talented golfers on tour, and he will continue to win tournaments for another decade.
Woods is the best player at the U.S. Open. It's just a matter of him playing like it.