Masters 2013 Leaderboard: Top Finishers Who Can Win U.S. Open

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IApril 15, 2013

AUGUSTA, GA - APRIL 13:  Brandt Snedeker of the United States waves to the crowd on the 18th green during the third round of the 2013 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 13, 2013 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

The great thing about major golf, is that the leaderboards are typically filled with big stars you expect to be there and players no one expected to be there.

This is a combination of golfers getting hot at the right time, and the course fitting their games.

To that end, it is safe to expect the leaderboard at the next major, the U.S. Open, to be far different than the one at the Masters. 

The 113th U.S. Open will be held at East Course of the Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. beginning on June 13. 

This course is far different from Agusta where distance off the tee is at a much higher premium than accuracy.

Accuracy is always a premium at the U.S. Open as the rough resembles a jungle. Also, this course is going to play at 6,996 yards and is a par 70.

This means two fewer par fives per round and a lot less distance to cover.

With all that in mind, here are three guys who contended at the Masters and will do so again at the U.S. Open. 


Brandt Snedeker

Brandt Snedeker undoubtedly leaves Augusta with a broken heart after he entered the final round with a share of the lead and fired a 75 on Sunday to finish in sixth place.

However, Snedeker can't get too down on himself. He's in prime position to contend at the U.S. Open.

Snedeker entered the Masters having missed the cut in both tournaments he played since returning from his rib injury.  

Given that, his performance was amazing. He will be in better form for the U.S. Open as he finds his consistency with more time on the course. 

What else bodes well for Snedeker is the fact he doesn't rely on distance to score. He is just 151st in driving distance, but ninth in accuracy. 

Snedeker is a brilliant ball striker, and he's fourth in greens in regulation. He's also an excellent putter. 

His game sets up wonderfully for this U.S. Open, and he will be right in the mix again. 


Tiger Woods

The Merion Golf Club does not play to Tiger Woods' strengths. Tiger has more distance off the tee than accuracy, and when he's at his best, he's killing the par fives. 

However he's Tiger Woods, and when he's playing near his best, he will be a factor in every tournament he enters. 

Woods will have to be smart off the tee. He is just 153rd in driving accuracy this year. However, knowing that, he will manage the golf course, and let his irons do the work. 

Tiger has been striking his irons beautifully, and his wedges brilliantly. This will come in handy at the U.S. Open. 

Also, while he struggled a bit at the Masters, Tiger has been excellent with his putter, and this will make him a factor in every tournament. 


Thorbjorn Olesen

In his first Masters appearance, Thorbjorn Olesen impressively finished at four-under and in sixth place, and he did so after firing a 78 in the first round. 

Olesen, 23, is quietly making himself a threat—not counting his withdrawal due to whiplash from the Houston Open—his last time out he finished in seventh-place at Bay Hill. 

Last year he won on the European Tour at the Sicilian Open, and he came in ninth at the 2012 British Open.  

He is 23rd in driving accuracy, which will be key at the U.S. Open. 

He will need to have a solid week with his flat iron to have a run at the victory, as he is up and down with the putter, but I expect him to once again to make an appearance on the leaderboard.