US Open Golf Predictions 2012: Top Stars Who Will Be in the Hunt on Sunday

Dan Renfro@danrenfroCorrespondent IIIJune 14, 2012

US Open Golf Predictions 2012: Top Stars Who Will Be in the Hunt on Sunday

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    It's all nice and good to talk about starting well, but who will be in contention on Sunday?

    The U.S. Open isn't always where the best golfers shine. Instead, it's where the most consistent golfers make their mark. The Olympic Club will be a tough course, and the winner must stay levelheaded.

    Here is a list of the golfers that will keep their heads for the first three days and be in contention on Sunday.

Jason Dufner

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    Jason Dufner has been playing extremely well this season.

    He's overachieved, and he will continue to do that. Compared to other stars, he doesn't have the same expectations. As a result, he will be able to focus on himself and get the job done.

    Dufner is a solid player, and he has what it takes to be near the top on Sunday.

Dustin Johnson

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    Dustin Johnson is great off the tee and good on the green.

    While that may not be enough to win the tournament, it certainly is enough to compete.

    Johnson will put himself in good positions. If he can make some shots from the fairway, he could all of a sudden be a multi-stroke leader. Johnson is a good player, and he will be toward the top of the leaderboard from start to finish.

Matt Kuchar

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    Matt Kucher just needs everyone else to stay close to him.

    He won't win the tournament if scores start to get lower and lower, but he will have a good chance if scores remain relatively high. He can hang around, and his solid putting will prevent him from self-destructing.

    At the U.S. Open, it's about staying afloat. Kuchar is good enough to do that, which is why he will be around on Sunday.

Phil Mickelson

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    Phil Mickelson is always there.

    He may not win the most majors, but he is always in the hunt. Even when it doesn't look like he's playing well, he'll make a run.

    Mickelson might not be in the greatest shape at some point during the weekend, but he'll come around by Sunday afternoon. You can be sure he'll be in the hunt.

Justin Rose

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    Justin Rose has the iron play necessary to win the U.S. Open.

    He is fourth on the tour in sand saves and third in greens hit in regulation. If he stays true to those numbers, he will have some unlikely birdie puts while his competition is struggling to make par.

    Rose is a smart player, and if he can make his putts, he will be able to capitalize on his good positions. He's a good player, and he will definitely be in the hunt on Sunday.

Bubba Watson

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    Winning two straight majors is incredibly tough, but Bubba Watson just could be the man to do it.

    He's a sharp player, and he knows what it takes to hang around in a major. More importantly, as he proved at the Masters, he has the confidence to make the biggest shot of the tournament. The Olympic Club will present plenty of tough shots, and the winner will be the one that makes the most of them.

    Watson will be in the hunt on Sunday. If he makes some big-time shots, he'll be champion once again.

Lee Westwood

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    Lee Westwood has just what it takes to win the U.S. Open.

    Don't expect him to do anything spectacular, but he will get the job done. Westwood's focus and mistake-free play will keep him around for the first few days.

    I'm not sure Westwood has enough to win the tournament, but he will definitely be in the hunt on Sunday.

Tiger Woods

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    Tiger Woods is ready to continue his pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' record.

    It's been four years since Woods last won a major, but that could all turn around. At the Memorial, he played some great golf. If he can follow that up with an impressive performance at the Olympic Club, Woods might be back in business.

    He's one of the most talented golfers in the world. He just needs to play like it.

    Woods might not have enough in the tank to win this tournament, but you can be darn sure he'll be in the hunt on Sunday.