US Open Golf 2012: Past Winners Who Can Capture Another Title

Justin WeltonAnalyst IIJune 14, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 13:  Tiger Woods of the United States waits on the practice ground during a practice round prior to the start of the 112th U.S. Open at The Olympic Club on June 13, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

When you achieve a great feat, it's easier to replicate that performance compared to people who have yet to do the same.

The same can be said on the golf course.

With the US Open set to begin this week, let's take a look at some past champions who can capture another title. 

Rory McIlroy

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 12:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland speaks with the media during a practice round prior to the start of the 112th U.S. Open at The Olympic Club on June 12, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Image
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Confidence goes a long way in sports, especially in golf. When you're young, talented and confident, the sky is the limit.

Rory McIlroy will build off his 2011 U.S. Open victory. He'll remember how he dominated the field by shooting 16-under par and beating the competition by eight strokes.

His confidence will be high coming into play this week.

If he can grab a good start, maintain consistency and remember his play from last year, we just may see McIlroy in the final pairing on Sunday. 

Graeme McDowell

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 12: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland hits a shot during a practice round prior to the start of the 112th U.S. Open at The Olympic Club on June 12, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

In 2010, Graeme McDowell won the U.S. Open after not finding particularly great performances in any other major. 

But he shined better than anybody else and earned his first major title.

He's capable of doing it again.

McDowell will benefit from his solid 2010 performance because it's something he can hang his hat on. When things aren't going well, he can remember what he did in 2010 to get him through.

Maybe that will bring him calmness and the ability to make better decisions early, which will keep him alive.

A porous two rounds early will cause trouble for any golfer in this tournament. You can't win the tournament in the first two days, but you can certainly lose it.

McDowell understands this, and his experience will remind him how to be cool, calm and collected. 

Tiger Woods

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 13:  Tiger Woods of the United States hits a shot on the practice ground during a practice round prior to the start of the 112th U.S. Open at The Olympic Club on June 13, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Andrew Reding
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Tiger Woods has won the U.S. Open three times in his historic career. Despite struggling in the past two years, Woods is capable of winning major tournaments any time he is entered in the field.

Does that mean he will win it this year?

No, but I wouldn't put it past him.

We have seen him win major tournaments on one leg, when the world is against him and when he's on top form.

Don't ever count Woods out. He'll find some way to prove you wrong.