Editor’s note: I’m at the Olympic Club in San Francisco all week for the 112th U.S. Open Championship.
“You look at people’s faces out there—they’re looking pretty wound up and stressed, aren’t they?” –Lee Westwood
I LIKE THE U.S. OPEN CHANCES OF CO-LEADERS Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk, two gritty competitors who already have their names on the coveted trophy. McDowell was the 2010 champion at Pebble Beach; Furyk captured the national title at Olympia Fields in 2003. I was especially impressed with Furyk’s third round, as the veteran carded an even-par 70 while dealing with the chaotic atmosphere of a Tiger Woods pairing.
Should GMac and Furyk falter, there are plenty of able contenders. Chief among them is Lee Westwood, who is desperate to shed his bridesmaid label. Also lurking are two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els, journeyman Fredrik Jacobson, Jason Dufner, Webb Simpson, amateur Beau Hossler and several others.
The Leaders (Tee Times and Scores)
1:50 – Casey Wittenberg (+5), Tiger Woods (+4)
2:00 – Matt Kuchar (+4), Martin Kaymer (+4)
2:10 – Retief Goosen (+4), John Peterson (+3)
2:20 – Jason Dufner (+3), (a)Beau Hossler (+3)
2:30 – John Senden (+3), Kevin Chappell (+3)
2:40 – Webb Simpson (+3), Nicolas Colsaerts (+2)
2:50 – Blake Adams (+2), Ernie Els (+2)
3:00 – Lee Westwood (+2), Fredrik Jacobson (+1)
3:10 – Jim Furyk (-1), Graeme McDowell (-1)
The Olympic Club, Lake Course
Note: Five of the six most difficult holes on the Lake Course are on the opening six-hole stretch.
Sunday: NBC, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT
Monday (if there’s a playoff): ESPN, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. PT; NBC, 11 a.m. to conclusion PT
Total purse: $8 million
Winner’s share: $1.44 million