SAN FRANCISCO – There will be plenty of storylines this week.
Can Rory McIlroy defend his title? With a win at Memorial last week, is Tiger really the favorite? Is this Lee Westwood’s best shot at a major?
We are in the Bay Area in force, and will be bringing you wall-to-wall coverage from Olympic Club all week long.
Our staff of eight writers will bring you all the answers throughout the week.
To follow our esteemed staff on Twitter throughout the week, here is a series of links:
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2012 U.S. Open: Final-round coverage
• Olympic achievement: At the end of an unpredictable U.S. Open Sunday, Webb Simpson was the last man standing at a torturous Olympic Club. Story
• Deciding factor: Olympic Club’s 16th bared its teeth all week, but it played the most crucial role on Sunday. Story
• Webb development: On a roller coaster at Olympic Club, Webb Simpson was able to manage his game well enough to win the U.S. Open title by a shot over Graeme McDowell and Michael Thompson. See how it happened. Story
• Texas’ teenage tango: In a battle of Texas Longhorns, one current and one future, Jordan Spieth got the better of Beau Hossler for low-amateur honors at the U.S. Open on Sunday. Story
• Open to criticism: Some thoughts on the first three days of U.S. Open television coverage on ESPN and NBC, courtesy of Martin Kaufmann. Story
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2012 U.S. Open: Third-round coverage
• Open Tracker: Tiger Woods will have plenty of work to do on Sunday if he hopes to win his 15th major title. Follow his quest, as well as the rest of leaderboard with our Open Tracker!
• Burning questions: Is Tiger toast? Will Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk stay on top? Our staff on the scene at Olympic Club debates five key questions ahead of Sunday’s primetime tee times at the U.S. Open. 5 Things.
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2012 U.S. Open: Third-round coverage
• Perfect timing: John Peterson’s first ace couldn’t have come on a better day. Story
• The contenders: Ideal scoring conditions on Saturday helped many players make up ground on the leaderboard. Story
• It could happen: Any number of scenarios could play out Sunday at the U.S. Open — some are just more interesting than others. Story
• Anyone’s ballgame: Making predictions for the final round of the U.S. Open is an exercise in futility. On this course and with this leaderboard, nearly anything can happen. Story
• In contention: Lee Westwood has the chance to erase the title of “best player never to have won a major” on Sunday at the U.S. Open. Story
• Just win, baby: Beau Hossler might have a baby face but his game is mature enough. The 17-year-old has a new goal: win the U.S. Open. Story
• Long and short of it: Holes No. 15 and 16 at Olympic Club were thrilling in their contrast on Saturday. The mammoth 16th is old news, but a 107-yard par 3? That’s worth a second glance at the yardage book. Story
• Inside the numbers: Amateur Patrick Cantlay is one of 31 players to make the cut in both the Masters and U.S. Open in 2012. We take a dive inside the numbers through 36 holes. Story.
• Tee times: Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk will tee off in the last pairing at 3:05 p.m. PDT. Pairings.
• Burning questions: Can Jim Furyk or David Toms really handle Tiger Woods? Who should you look out for on Saturday? Our staff debates 5 burning questions . . . 5 Things.
• Calculated risk: Charl Schwartzel is willing to put his health and career in semi-jeopardy to compete this weekend at The Olympic Club. Story.
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2012 U.S. Open: Second-round coverage
• Just like old times: Despite the Hollywood buzz and huge galleries surrounding the Open’s rock-star group, one player emerged in a league of his own – Tiger Woods, simply reminiscent of old times. Story.
• Sneaking in: Phil Mickelson’s birdie on the par-3 eighth to close his second round got him under the cutline, which fell at 8 over at the end of Friday. Others, including Vijay Singh and Dustin Johnson, weren’t so lucky. Story.
• Beau-dacious: At 17, Beau Hossler never expected to be leading a U.S. Open. But, for a short time, the world took notice of a teenager maturing before our eyes. Story.
• Ambassador of awards: What’s a major championship without a few well-deserved awards? Jim Achenbach doles out titles to players including Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods and Jason Dufner, among others. Story.
• Made for this: Aside from Tiger Woods, when it comes to U.S. Open golf, perhaps no one in the field at Olympic is as dependable as Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk. Story.
• Hanging around: Ernie Els may have shot 1-under 69 Friday, but the veteran, playing in his 20th U.S. Open, was just glad to get through Friday’s round at Olympic. Story.
• ‘Doesn’t come easy:’ Defending U.S. Open champ Rory McIlroy won’t be around for the weekend at Olympic after missing the cut for the fourth time in his past five starts. Story.
• In the hunt: Steve Stricker has a solid U.S. Open track record, but has never finished better than T-13. Could his strong finish Friday, which has him at 4 over, change that? Story.
• Take notice: Don’t look now, but Nicolas Colsaerts’ stock is steadily rising. The Belgian claimed one of six sub-par rounds in the morning wave at Olympic Club. Story.
• Nothing to lose: John Peterson has never been short on opinions, but he let his game do the talking on Friday as he vaulted into contention at the U.S. Open. Story.
• Prolonged ouch: Nos. 1-6 at Olympic Club are a different kind of difficult. They’re so bad, in fact, that the 156-man U.S. Open field played them in 410-over par on Thursday. Story
• Burning questions: There are plenty of storylines to watch on Friday at the U.S. Open – including how Michael Thompson will hold up as a leader – so we debated five that will be prevalent as the cut is made at Olympic Club. Story
• Outside the spotlight: Tiger Woods is so close to the top of the U.S. Open leaderboard, it’s distracting. Alex Miceli lists a handful of other scenarios that are just as entertaining. Story
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2012 U.S. Open: First-round coverage
• Eclectic mix: Where else but the U.S. Open can a Cinderella player like Alistair Presnell contend alongside a teenager, a former amateur star and a Champions tour player? Story
• Cool hand Casey: Casey Martin is just an everyday guy, back for his second U.S. Open at Olympic Club. On Thursday, he turned a round headed for the 80s into a respectable 74. Story
• Hardly glamorous: The collective performance of Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald on Thursday at Olympic Club was uninspiring at best. Said Donald, “It shows how tough it is.” Story
• Attitude adjustment: Patience at the U.S. Open is important, but a good attitutude is crucial in this game. Story
• Stark contrast: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson played decidedly different opening rounds Thursday at Olympic Club. Mickelson was a story of duck-and-cover, while Woods excelled in his conservatism. Story
• A dose of reality: Andy Zhang, 14, had some bad (two doubles and a triple), some good (two birdies) and a lot of nerves as he played his first round in a major championship. Story
• Resume building: At 17, could Beau Hossler possibly be considered a U.S. Open veteran? After some sound advice from a few Tour sages, the kid is playing like one. Story
• Running the gauntlet: The opening holes at The Olympic Club are earning a nasty reputation, but a case can be made that it’s no easier for players starting at No. 9. Story
• Woven into history: It’s been 57 years since Jack Fleck took down Ben Hogan at the 1955 U.S. Open. At 90, he’s returned to Olympic, the venue that produced his proudest moment. Story
• Forgetful start: The opening No. 9 hole has proven tough for competitors so far at the 2012 U.S. Open at The Olympic Club. Story
• Having fun with it: Playing in his first major as a professional, second-year PGA Tour player Michael Thompson shot 66 to take the early lead. Story
• Tiger Tracker: Round 1 at the U.S. Open. Story
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2012 U.S. Open: Wednesday coverage
• Who will win it all? Our staff of eight writers and editors take a crack at who they think will win the 2012 U.S. Open. Picks.
• Boys to men: On the surface, Brooks and Chase Koepka have had a banner eight months with four titles between them. But, life off the course has been anything but easy for the talented brothers. Story. Plus, Brooks Koepka’s U.S. Open in photos.
• Wednesday, in photos: Check out the final practice round through the eyes of a photographer. Pictures.
• Gold standard: To pay tribute to a four-time U.S. Open champion, the USGA renamed its gold medal in honor of Jack Nicklaus on Wednesday in San Francisco. Story.
• The short of it: Alvaro Quiros’ season has been a struggle. The reason? The Spaniard’s long game far outshines his short game, as evidenced by the hole-in-one albatross he made on the seventh hole at Olympic during a U.S. Open Wednesday practice round. Story.
• Roughing it: The rough at Olympic Club can be best summarized in one word: “inconsistent.” You might get lucky, you might not. It’ll make for good theater come Thursday morning. Story.
• The best man: Four players have won a U.S. Open at The Olympic Club. But has any player been the right winner? Commentary.
• 5 Things: Is Rory McIlroy back on track? Who will stand out among the pairing of Tiger-Phil-Bubba? And, just how killer are those first six holes at Olympic Club? Story.
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2012 U.S. Open: Tuesday coverage
• Pairings party: Tiger-Phil-Bubba. Donald-McIlroy-Westwood. K.J.-K.T.-Y.E. Someone at the USGA is simply having some fun with the pairings, but do we benefit by it? Story.
• Andy’s new world: Andy Zhang stole headlines across the world during the past 24 hours as the youngest player in U.S. Open history, but that only begins to tell the 14-year-old’s story. Commentary.
• A day with Zhang: Go behind the scenes with Andy Zhang. Photos.
• Friendly upset: Two days before Phil Mickelson plays the U.S. Open’s headline pairing with Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson, he played a practice round with teenagers Beau Hossler and Alberto Sanchez, who beat Mickelson and club pro Mike McCormick 1 up. Story.
• Major anticipation: After a whirlwind travel schedule and a couple changes on the course, Lee Westwood figures to be well-suited for Olympic’s test. Story.
• Shifting the narrative: After an up-and-down season, at this point, a win, a missed cut or a 30th place at the U.S. Open from Tiger Woods won’t be a surprise. Story.
• ‘He earned it:’ It took Colt Knost five seasons to qualify for his first major, but his first majors appearance couldn’t have come at a better place. Story.
• Back at home: Michael Allen was also at Olympic Club at the age of 14 – as a member; meanwhile, Steve Stricker reflects on 1998. Notes.
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2012 U.S. Open: Monday coverage
• Making history: Andy Zhang, 14, will be the youngest player to ever play in the U.S. Open, receiving a spot in the field after Paul Casey withdrew due to injury. Story.
• Spieth is in: PGA Tour veteran Brandt Snedeker has withdrawn from the 2012 U.S. Open due to a rib injury and will be replaced by University of Texas star Jordan Spieth. Story.
• 5 Things: Did you know that Casey Martin won $192 off Tiger Woods? Here are 5 Things you probably didn’t know about one of the stars of this week’s U.S. Open. Story.
• Mighty Casey: Casey Martin might walk with a limp and use a cart to get around, but our Jim Achenbach says that the Oregon coach embraces it all with grace and dignity. Commentary.
• Amateur hour: From Patrick Cantlay to Beau Hossler, our Sean Martin takes a look at the eight amateurs in the field at the 2012 U.S. Open. Profiles.
• No joke: Dennis Miller – no, not the comedian – is living in a fairy tale and has no intention of leaving it this week at the U.S. Open in San Francisco. Story.
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2012 U.S. Open preview
• He’s in: The last week certainly has been a rollercoaster ride for Spencer Levin, culminating with an invitation into the U.S. Open next week at The Olympic Club. Story.
• Opening-round pairings: Among the notable pairings for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open, one in particular stands out: the group of Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson and Tiger Woods. Pairings, tee times.
• The complete field: The 151 players who have qualified for the 112th U.S. Open, to be played June 14-17 at The Olympic Club. Story.
• How do alternates get in? The USGA’s priority list for U.S. Open spots, should exempt players withdraw, isn’t as subjective as it might seem says our Jim McCabe. Story.
• Hole-by-hole breakdown: Our golf-course expert Bradley S. Klein offers insight on what to watch for at the Lake Course at Olympic Club, site of this week’s U.S. Open. Story.
• Keep an eye on these guys: A look at 10 players (outside the top 10 in the world ranking) to watch at next week’s U.S. Open in San Francisco, according to our Ryan Lavner. Story.
• Full tilt: The Olympic Club has tested its fair share of golfers with its reverse-camber fairways. Much of the same is expected at this week’s U.S. Open says our Bradley Klein. Story.
• Fresh meat: Touring pros have to start somewhere. But for U.S. Open rookies, like Bobby Gates (above) was in 2010, any pretense of a gilded life can meet a rough reality. Story.
• ‘I think I won:’ Forty-six years after his stunning comeback against Arnold Palmer to win the 1966 U.S. Open, Billy Casper is fine with the way history views his victory at The Olympic Club. Story.
• Olympic circus: So much drama – hot drivers, a disabled golfer in a cart and a carnival hole location – overshadowed the ’98 Open. Story.
• Early favorite: A look at the odds for the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco, set to be played June 14-17, 2012. Odds.
• Did you know? Facts and figures for the 112th U.S. Open golf championship at Olympic Club in San Francisco. Story.
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2012 U.S. Open qualifying
• Prince of porcelain: Affable Aussie Anthony Summers, an unlikely sectional winner and one-time toilet cleaner, can’t wipe the smile off his face entering the U.S. Open. Story.
• No time to grieve: A devastating loss in the NCAA final. A private-jet flight to a U.S. Open qualifier in Memphis, Tenn. A rainout. A spot in his first professional tournament. Just 72 hours in the life of Hunter Hamrick. Story.
• Tight turnaround: A year after being snubbed for the Walker Cup squad, John Peterson manages to qualify for the USGA’s marquee event: The U.S. Open. Story.
• Return engagement: Beau Hossler will be making his second appearance in the U.S. Open – at the tender age of 17 – after a T-2 finish at the Daly City, Calif., sectional on Monday. Story.
• Cross-country star: Just 24 hours after a Nationwide Tour victory in North Carolina, James Hahn qualifies in Daly City, Calif., for the U.S. Open at Olympic Club. Story.
• Exceeding expectations: The fact that he hadn’t touched a golf club in nine days didn’t stop Oregon men’s coach Casey Martin from winning the U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Creswell, Ore. Story.
• Major moment: Edward Loar had a lot of waiting in Monday’s U.S. Open sectional qualifier in Columbus, Ohio, but it proved worthwhile after he gained his first major invite. Story.
• Immediate redemption: Brooks Koepka had an immediate chance to re-conquer the par-5 18th and grabbed the final qualifying spot in a playoff at the U.S. Open sectional in Florida. Story.
• Olympic feat: Dustin Johnson might not remember match play at the 2007 U.S. Amateur, played at The Olympic Club, too clearly, but it’s safe to say his opponent does. Story.
• 2012 U.S. Open sectional qualifying: Keep track of who made (and didn’t make) the cut, as well as photos, updates and more. Recaps.
• Complete scores: Tis the season of U.S. Open qualifying. Keep track of sectional qualifying here as tournaments are staged at 11 sites around the country, as well as in Japan and England. Also see the results from the 109 local qualifying sites. Scores.
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