2012 U.S. Open: Staff predictions

England's Lee Westwood

England's Lee Westwood

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SAN FRANCISCO - Lee Westwood was a back nine away from his first major title two months ago at Augusta National.

This week, he'll greet the U.S. Open and Olympic Club as one of the heavy favorites, according to our panel of experts.

Coming off a win at last week's Nordea Masters in Sweden, Westwood also has picked up four top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour this season.

He was T-3 last year at Congressional and T-16 in 2010 at Pebble Beach.

Other big names to watch? Luke Donald, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, while at least a pair of folks believe Padraig Harrington might have a fourth major title up his sleeve.

Check out our staff predictions, including whom we think will pick up the low-amateur honor come Sunday in San Francisco.

Staffer Favorite Wild Card Low Amateur
Babineau Luke Donald

It's a coin toss between him and Lee Westwood, but either way, I'm having visions of an Englishman hoisting the U.S. Open trophy. Consider it a little Tony Jacklin karma.

 

Rickie Fowler

Driving it well and hey, my kids all want him to win! Orange could be coming to your wardrobe soon.

 

Patrick Cantlay

He's seasoned, a California kid and will be competing for big titles such as this one before too long.

 

Rude Lee Westwood

Confidence sky-high coming off a win. Best driver of the golf ball in the world, and you have to be exact with your driving at Olympic.

 

Ben Crane

He’s the only one of the Golf Boys who hasn’t won this year. It’s his turn.

 

Patrick Cantlay

Comfortable in California, and he’s done the low-am thing before.

 

McCabe Phil Mickelson

Agonizingly close on a handful of occasions at the U.S. Open, Mickelson's disappointments have been tempered by three green jackets and a PGA Championship. Which isn't to say he wouldn't dearly love this one.

 

Geoff Ogilvy

Surely he's a world-class talent with a sense of history, so here is a little to ponder: Billy Casper won U.S. Opens at Winged Foot and The Olympic Club and the Aussie is in line to do similarly.

 

Patrick Cantlay

His biggest challenge is just dodging all the agents on his way to the first tee.

 

Miceli Phil Mickelson

Window is closing and if the cell phones are quieted I love Lefty here.

 

Robert Garrigus

His length and weekend scoring average should be enough to get him in contention.

 

Jordan Spieth

Riding high after winning NCAA title with Texas.

 

Achenbach Jim Furyk

Has the perfect game for Olympic, where scores will be high and pars will be a valuable commodity.

 

Charlie Wi

California kid who plays well in his home state.

 

Nick Sherwood

Smart kid, will avoid mistakes and will make the cut.

 

Martin Lee Westwood

Was an impressive winner last week in Sweden. Consistent major contender.

 

Peter Hanson

He was seventh at last year's U.S. Open and third at the Masters. He also finished third at last week's Nordea Masters on the European Tour.

 

Patrick Cantlay

Hard to bet against the Californian, who was low am at the 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 Masters.

 

Lavner Lee Westwood

It’s finally time for this ballstriking machine to pick off a major. He’s too solid, all-around, to not hover near the top of the ’board come Sunday. Tied for seventh the last time the Open was held at Olympic Club, way back in ’98.

 

Jim Furyk

Control your tee ball, bring your best short game, limit your mistakes -- few follow the Open formula better than Furyk. The 2003 champ comes to S.F. in good form too: He hasn’t finished outside the top 26 since March.

 

Patrick Cantlay

The rising junior at UCLA was low-am at last year’s U.S. Open, and his precise iron game and unflappable demeanor should bode well at Olympic, too.

 

Masuda Tiger Woods

With his attention to detail at Memorial, he was readying himself for the pinpoint accuracy he'll need at Olympic. Don't be surprised if it is a runaway.

 

Padraig Harrington

This is a hunch, but the Irishman played quite well at Augusta and he knows how to get himself around a major (three wins).

 

Brooks Koepka

Everyone else will take the steady Patrick Cantlay. I am going with the ultra-long Koepka, who showed tons of mental toughness by winning the final spot at his sectional in Florida.

 

The field, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings (a-amateur):

  • 1. Lee Westwood
  • 2. Luke Donald
  • 3. Rory McIlroy
  • 4. Sergio Garcia
  • 5. Steve Stricker
  • 6. Tiger Woods
  • 7. Adam Scott
  • 8. Matt Kuchar
  • 9. Zach Johnson
  • 10. Webb Simpson
  • 11. Phil Mickelson
  • 12. Charl Schwartzel
  • 13. Martin Kaymer
  • 14. Bo Van Pelt
  • 15. Justin Rose
  • 16. Dustin Johnson
  • 17. Rickie Fowler
  • 18. Hunter Mahan
  • 20. Bubba Watson
  • 21. Charles Howell III
  • 22. Fredrik Jacobson
  • 23. Peter Hanson
  • 24. Jim Furyk
  • 26. Jason Day
  • 27. John Senden
  • 29. Spencer Levin
  • 30. Francesco Molinari
  • 31. Nicolas Colsaerts
  • 33. Keegan Bradley
  • 34. Jason Dufner
  • 35. Carl Pettersson
  • 36. Nick Watney
  • 37. Brandt Snedeker
  • 39. Ernie Els
  • 40. Bill Haas
  • 44. Y.E. Yang
  • 46. George Coetzee
  • 47. Louis Oosthuizen
  • 48. Ian Poulter
  • 50. Matteo Manassero
  • 52. Gary Woodland
  • 54. Thomas Bjorn
  • 55. Robert Rock
  • 57. Geoff Ogilvy
  • 59. Trevor Immelman
  • 60. K.J. Choi
  • 62. Vijay Singh
  • 66. Graeme McDowell
  • 68. Martin Laird
  • 69. Kevin Na
  • 72. Padraig Harrington
  • 73. Scott Piercy
  • 74. Aaron Baddeley
  • 75. Sang-moon Bae
  • 76. Simon Dyson
  • 79. Kyle Stanley
  • 80. Michael Thompson
  • 81. Charlie Wi
  • 84. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
  • 87. Ben Crane
  • 89. Alexander Noren
  • 90. Retief Goosen
  • 91. Robert Garrigus
  • 96. K.T. Kim
  • 97. Robert Karlsson
  • 98. David Toms
  • 100. Peter Lawrie
  • 101. Mark Wilson
  • 102. Rafael Cabrera-Bello
  • 108. Hiroyuki Fujita
  • 109. Anders Hansen
  • 113. Davis Love III
  • 119. Jonathan Byrd
  • 124. D.A. Points
  • 125. Miguel Angel Jimenez
  • 128. Brendan Jones
  • 134. Kevin Streelman
  • 135. Blake Adams
  • 140. Toru Taniguchi
  • 143. Ryo Ishikawa
  • 151. Bill Lunde
  • 154. Alvaro Quiros
  • 157. Kevin Chappell
  • 159. Paul Claxton
  • 160. Casey Wittenberg
  • 161. Chez Reavie
  • 162. Roberto Castro
  • 173. Bob Estes
  • 177. Brian Harman
  • 185. Rod Pampling
  • 189. Lucas Glover
  • 194. Stewart Cink
  • 198. Martin Flores
  • 206. Joe Durant
  • 207. Jim Herman
  • 208. Raphael Jacquelin
  • 217. Soren Kjeldsen
  • 220. Tim Herron
  • 228. Steve Marino
  • 236. Brice Garnett
  • 258. Jason Bohn
  • 264. Shane Bertsch
  • 267. Branden Grace
  • 272. Paul Casey
  • 276. David Mathis
  • 285. Alex Cejka
  • 289. Hunter Haas
  • 290. Dong-hwan Lee
  • 297. Aaron Watkins
  • 314. Mikko Ilonen
  • 337. Jeff Curl
  • 346. Lee Slattery
  • 349. Stephen Ames
  • 350. James Hahn
  • 353. Gregory Bourdy
  • 360. Nicholas Thompson
  • 365. Steve Lebrun
  • 388. Marc Warren
  • 393. Matthew Baldwin
  • 404. Joe Ogilvie
  • 415. Darron Stiles
  • 430. Tadahiro Takayama
  • 432. Tommy Biershenk
  • 435. Colt Knost
  • 440. Alistair Presnell
  • 505. Jae-bum Park
  • 511. Matt Bettencourt
  • 573. Justin Hicks
  • 597. Edward Loar
  • 653. Angel Cabrera
  • 684. Kyle Thompson
  • 791. Anthony Summers
  • 898. Michael Campbell
  • N/R. Scott Langley
  • N/R. (a) Patrick Cantlay
  • N/R. Tim Clark
  • N/R. Mark McCormick
  • N/R. Hunter Hamrick
  • N/R. Casey Martin
  • N/R. Brian Rowell
  • N/R. John Peterson
  • N/R. (a) Brooks Koepka
  • N/R. (a) Nick Sherwood
  • N/R. Tim Weinhart
  • N/R. (a) Cameron Wilson
  • N/R. (a) Alberto Sanchez
  • N/R. Morgan Hoffmann
  • N/R. Olin Browne
  • N/R. (a) Beau Hossler
  • N/R. Cole Howard
  • N/R. Michael Allen
  • N/R. Scott Smith
  • N/R. Dennis Miller
  • N/R. Jesse Mueller
  • N/R. Brian Gaffney
  • N/R. Samuel Osborne
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