US Open Golf 2012 Leaderboard: Tiger Woods and the 17 Players Who Could Win

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US Open Golf 2012 Leaderboard: Tiger Woods and the 17 Players Who Could Win
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Tiger Woods

The Olympic Club has a history with the US Open—a history of underdogs taking down more prominent players in unforgettable fashion.

There was Jack Fleck in 1955. He defeated the great Ben Hogan in an 18-hole playoff. Eleven years later, Billy Casper beat Arnold Palmer in a playoff. In 1987, it was Scott Simpson who managed a one-shot victory over Tom Watson. And in 1998, Lee Janzen beat Payne Stewart by a shot.

Yes, the Olympic Club has a way of making the impossible possible at this major championship. And after 54 holes at the 112th playing of this US Open here on the treacherous Lake course at Olympic, a similar scenario is quite possibly taking shape.

At the top of the leaderboard are two former US Open champions—Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell. They hold a two-shot advantage over the rest of the field, but 15 more golfers are within five shots of the lead, including three-time US Open champ Tiger Woods, two-time US Open champ Retief Goosen, three-time major championship winner Ernie Els and the world's No. 3 ranked player, Lee Westwood.

There's also Jason Dufner, Martin Kaymer, Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson. Dufner is the hottest player on the PGA Tour this year. Kaymer won the PGA Championship a couple years ago. Kuchar, the Players Championship winner last month, and Simpson are outstanding young players looking for their first major.

Those names are familiar. They are the Sunday favorites, although Simpson could be considered a surprise winner if he pulled it off.

But it's names like Fredrik Jacobson, Blake Adams, John Peterson, Kevin Chappell, Nicholas Colsaerts, John Senden and especially 17-year-old amateur Beau Hossler, that conjure up memories of past US Opens at the Olympic Club.

If you follow golf, you know these names—most of them, anyway. But to call them underdogs would be a understatement.

Will history repeat itself? The stage is set for it. But, one thing's for sure—golf's self-proclaimed toughest test is up for grabs.

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