Preview and Analysis of Top 25 Players to Watch at the US Open

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Preview and Analysis of Top 25 Players to Watch at the US Open
Darron Cummings/Associated Press
Justin Rose is the U.S. Open defending champion.

The best golfers in the world will gather this week for the second major championship of the season, and all but two of the Top 50 from the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) will be on hand for the festivities.

Tiger Woods is still rehabbing from his back surgery, and Thomas Bjorn withdrew due to neck and shoulder issues.

Bjorn is leading the European Tour's Race to Dubai and is still looking for his first major trophy.

This will be the 114th playing of the U.S. Open and Donald Ross' famous Pinehurst No. 2 will host the U.S. Open for the third time.   

Payne Stewart won his last major championship here in 1999, and Michael Thompson won his lone major championship at Pinehurst in 2005.

The course has been restored to Ross' original design by the team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. The result has drawn rave reviews.

The fairways are forgiving with very little rough. Waste areas bordering the wide fairways are complete with tall fescue and may prove to be much more penal than normal USGA rough.  

As always, the player who wins this week will have managed to conquer the difficult greens on this iconic golf course. They are bowl-shaped with closely clipped run-off areas that will test the nerve of every player.

The USGA always manages to provide a full examination, and this year will be no exception to that rule.

Here are 25 players who bear watching this week and reasons why they could hoist the U.S. Open trophy on Father's Day.

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