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US Open Golf 2012 Leaderboard: Golfers Who Will Make a Push on Saturday

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 15:  Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland waves to the gallery on the eighth green during the second round of the 112th U.S. Open at The Olympic Club on June 15, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Justin WeltonAnalyst IIJune 16, 2012

Making a push at the 2012 U.S. Open only means adding two to three strokes to your game. You won't see a jump of -5 Saturday, most likely.

But Saturday will create space between the pretenders and the contenders.

Here are three golfers who will make a push towards the top. 

K.J. Choi (+3)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 15:  K.J. Choi of South Korea watches his tee shot on the first hole during the second round of the 112th U.S. Open at The Olympic Club on June 15, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

K.J. Choi is Mr. Consistent. His strokes are pure, he doesn't make too many mistakes and he consistently finds himself in position to make runs in tournaments.

Choi sits four shots behind the leaders.

If he can play well Saturday, he will be in perfect position come Sunday.

Choi has played consistent golf aside from a few bogeys and one double bogey. He has four birdies and the rest are pars.

Prediction 

Choi will shoot one under. 

If he can clean up a few of his bogeys and capitalize on easier birdie opportunities, Choi will like his position on Sunday. 

Graeme McDowell (+1)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 15:  Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the first hole during the second round of the 112th U.S. Open at The Olympic Club on June 15, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Image
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

With experience at the event, Graeme McDowell has what it takes to compete for a title at the 2012 U.S. Open.

The 2010 winner will be in contention on Sunday after a solid performance Saturday.

Prediction

McDowell will shoot one under, which will put him in great position to compete for another major title. McDowell has played up-and-down through two rounds.

He has shot seven birdies and eight bogeys. If he can tone down his miscues, we could be talking about the leader of the pack.

McDowell will play a little more consistent on Saturday. 

Charl Schwartzel (+3) 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 15:  Charl Schwartzel of South Africa watches his tee shot on the first hole during the second round of the 112th U.S. Open at The Olympic Club on June 15, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

I loved how Charl Schwartzel finished his round on Friday. After having a sub-par Thursday performance, Schwartzel recorded three bogeys and three birdies to remain in contention. 

It wasn't a remarkable day on the course, but he did what he had to do to stay alive.

In this tournament, at this course, staying alive sometimes wins you the title. 

Prediction

Schwartzel soars into contention by shooting two under. He has done what he needed to do to stay alive, now it's time to push towards even par. 

U.S. Open Leaderboard

Player Score Thru
T1. Jim Furyk -1 F
T1. Tiger Woods -1
T1. David Toms -1 
T4. John Peterson  +1 F
T4. Nicolas Colsaerts +1
T4. Graeme McDowell  +1  F
T4. Michael Thompson  +1
8. Blake Adams +2 
T9. Aaron Watkins +3 
T9. Hunter Mahan +3 

To see the complete leaderboard check out ESPN.com. 

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