US Open Golf 2012 Leaderboard: Power Ranking Players with Best Shot at Title

The 2012 US Open title is up for grabs and there are a ton of golfers in a position to grab it. There are 17 golfers within five strokes of the lead, and on a course that can quickly send players plummeting down the leaderboard, five strokes is certainly not too big a deficit.

Given all of this, I've narrowed it down to five favorites. We'll have more on them in a moment, but first take a look at the full leaderboard here.


1 J. Furyk E 11
2 W. Simpson +1 14
T3 E. Els +2 13
T3 P. Harrington +2 17
T3 J. Peterson  +2 15
T6 M. Thompson +2 F
T6 D. Toms +3 F
T8 G. McDowell +3 11
T8 J. Dufner +4 15

No. 1: Graeme McDowell (-1)

McDowell's greatest success came at the 2010 US Open, and he is in a great position to replicate that success here.

It is no surprise that McDowell plays so well in these difficult tournaments. McDowell is reliable and accurate off the tee. This is going to be huge, as it should keep him out of trouble and in these narrow fairways.

McDowell is also able to get a lot of spin on his irons, which is key on these concrete-like greens. He has also been here before, and he knows what to expect and how to deal with the pressure.

No. 2: Jim Furyk (-1)

Like McDowell, Furyk has been here before. He won the 2003 US Open. Furyk will not be rattled by the pressure.

Also like McDowell, Furyk is amazingly reliable off the tee—even more so. Furyk knows how to hit fairways. He also knows how shape iron shots.

Furyk and McDowell would be a toss up as favorites, but McDowell gets the edge due to age. Furyk is 42, which certainly doesn't mean he can't win, only that he is more likely to suffer a slip from fatigue over the younger McDowell.

No. 3: Lee Westwood (+2)

One of these majors, Westwood will get that elusive first major title. He is too good not to. He put himself in a great position to do so here, and he is getting better with each round.

Westwood was fantastic firing a 67 on Saturday. He had five birdies in that round. He played the ultra-difficult opening six holes at one-under yesterday. If he can replicate that feat, he could very well be in the driver's seat heading to the back nine.

 No. 4: Fredrik Jacobson (+1)

Jacobson fired a 68 on Saturday, and that number would have been even better had he not narrowly missed a couple of birdie putts.

This longtime pro has never been in the spotlight of a major like he will be on Sunday, but he has a wealth of experience to help him deal with that pressure.

Jacobson's game is not ideally suited for this course, but he is hot. If he strikes the ball like he did on Sunday, he is going to be tough to beat.

No. 5: Jason Dufner (+3)

Dufner is quickly turning into one of the most consistent golfers on the tour. He just never seems to hit a bad shot.

He has been plodding along under the radar in this tournament, but he can't be counted out.

Dufner is dialing in. After firing a 72 in the first round, he has improved his score by one in each subsequent day.

Dufner has yet to win a major, but he certainly has experience in the pressure. He lost in a thrilling playoff at last year's PGA championship.

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