Ranking the U.S. Open field
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- The cream always rises to the top here at Pebble Beach.
In 1972, the first year the U.S. Open was held at this famed venue, Jack Nicklaus won the title. Ten years later, it was Tom Watson. A decade after that, Tom Kite prevailed. And in the most recent major held here, Tiger Woods triumphed by a record 15 strokes.
U.S. Open on ESPN, ESPN3.com
• 1-3 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN3.com)
• 3-5 p.m. ET (NBC)
• 5-10 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN3.com)
If you're scoring at home, that's three World Golf Hall of Famers and a no-doubt-about-it inductee.
Will another all-time great make it five in a row? Maybe not.
Playing to just 7,040 yards, the par-71 course will likely bring more players into the mix, as those who hit plenty of fairways and greens in regulation should have an advantage here.
With that in mind, a special nod to such competitors in this year's ranking of the 156-man field, where many quality players should be in contention come Sunday evening.
|1. Hunter Mahan||Somehow these numbers don't sound right: Mahan played on three consecutive Ryder/Presidents Cup teams prior to earning his second career victory at this year's Waste Management Phoenix Open. In each instance, he was named to the roster as a captain's pick, which speaks to how highly thought of he really is.
Mahan is considered one of the game's better ball-strikers, leading the PGA Tour in total driving and already inside the top 30 in greens in regulation for the fourth straight season. Such statistics should work wonders for him this week, as he's looking to improve upon a T-6 finish from a year ago.
|2. Luke Donald||In a very intriguing turn of events, Donald seems to be finding his form just in time for the year's second major. The U.S. Open is an event that should suit his game, but one in which he has gone MC-WD-MC the past three years.
In a recent stretch of three straight weeks on the European Tour, Donald had a pair of title contentions sandwiched around a victory at the Madrid Masters -- his first on that circuit in six years and first anywhere in the world since 2006. If one of the game's best putters can keep rolling it well at Pebble, he should find himself in the mix once again.
|3. Jim Furyk||On a course that promises to reward accuracy over power and with two victories to his credit already this season, things appear to be shaping up quite nicely for the 2003 U.S. Open champion. Throw in the fact that though he hasn't seriously contended in the PGA Tour's annual event at Pebble Beach, Furyk has finished in the top 40 in each of the past six years and you'll find a guy whose confidence should be at an all-time high.
Perhaps the only negative is that of his 15 career victories, not a single one has come in the state of California, but the stars may be aligned this week. And there are bigger accolades at stake, too: A second career major win would likely mean Hall of Fame status for Furyk somewhere down the line.
|4. Graeme McDowell||If iron play will indeed determine this week's champion, keep a very close eye on this Northern Ireland native, who leads the European Tour with a greens in regulation percentage of more than three quarters of the time -- a very lofty number for that stat. He's also fresh off a victory at Celtic Manor, site of the upcoming Ryder Cup. And he tends to play his best golf in tough conditions, having made the cut in each of his four previous U.S. Open starts.||T-18, 2009|
|5. Lee Westwood||A few things we know about the world's third-ranked player: Since 2008, he has finished third or better at all four major championships, including a solo second at this year's Masters after holding the 54-hole lead. And he is coming off a victory in Memphis, though no player has ever won the week before the U.S. Open and parlayed it into back-to-back titles. Westwood might not break that string at Pebble, but it's hard to fathom him not being in the mix come Sunday afternoon.||3rd, 2008|
|6. Phil Mickelson||
If the elusive U.S. Open victory is ever going to happen for Lefty, this would be the time and place. He owns three career victories at Pebble Beach, part of a dozen titles in his home state of California. With the green jacket already hanging in his closet -- when he's not wearing it to Krispy Kreme, that is -- Mickelson is attempting to join Craig Wood, Ben Hogan (twice), Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to win the first two legs of the modern Grand Slam.
Keep in mind, though, that he skipped last week's St. Jude Classic. In his past 20 major starts, Mickelson has only failed to play the week prior on four occasions. He didn't finish better than T-18 at any of 'em.
|2nd, five times|
|7. Tom Lehman||
Based on the recent exploits of Greg Norman, Kenny Perry and Tom Watson, you should have this one memorized by now: The oldest major championship winner ever was Julius Boros, who prevailed at the 1968 PGA Championship at the age of 48 years, four months and 18 days. Lehman would break that record by nearly three full years should he triumph this week -- and coming off his first career senior major victory, it's not out of the realm of possibility.
In fact, on a short course where experience will reign, it's more likely that a Champions Tour-eligible player will contend here than at Royal Birkdale, Augusta National or Turnberry. There are plenty of candidates, but Lehman's fairways-and-greens game plan makes him the pick to be in the mix.
|8. Nick Watney||Very good young player, starting to come into his own, tons of talent. Does Watney send out any reminders of the defending champ? Well, he should. With a solo seventh-place finish at the Masters already under his belt this season, the NorCal product would be a terrific sleeper pick if he hadn't already awakened those who were taking him lightly.
Watney is the PGA Tour's leader in greens in regulation on a course where GIR might be the most important stat. And he already owns a victory at Pebble Beach, winning the unofficial Callaway Invitational five years ago. If nothing else, that should afford him some confidence this week.
|9. Ryan Moore||
Once a great USGA player, always a great USGA player. There's something about the organization's course setups that turn off some players, while others thrive in these situations. Consider Moore among the latter, as he already owns three USGA titles -- the 2002 and '04 PubLinks Championship and the 2004 U.S. Amateur.
Coming off a T-10 at Bethpage last year and with his initial PGA Tour title now under his belt, he should be considered a very serious threat to contend once again this week.
|10. Zach Johnson||
After winning at Colonial a few weeks ago, Johnson was informed that it made sense, since the tight course suits his game. "I've heard that a lot," he responded. "I love it. There's a reason why I love playing here and I keep coming back."
Pebble Beach might not play exactly like Colonial, but it should employ some of the same characteristics this week, meaning it should likewise appeal to Johnson's brand of steady, solid, mistake-free golf. The 2007 Masters champion has also proven he can win a major on a fast, firm track. He's likely licking his chops at the prospect of another.
|11. Matt Kuchar||He entered his professional career as one of the most heralded prospects in recent years, having won the 1997 U.S. Amateur, earned two-time All-America honors at Georgia Tech and finished with amateur results of T-21 at the Masters and T-14 at the U.S. Open in 1998.
Kuchar first won on the PGA Tour in 2002, but didn't garner his second victory until last year; now, though, the floodgates have opened. Kuchar owns five top-10s already this season, including a runner-up and a pair of third-place finishes. He's in the top-20 in both driving accuracy and greens in regulations, both of which should serve him well this week.
|12. Ben Crane||Still known more for his tortoise-like pace of play than his buttery putting stroke, Crane has been one of golf's biggest surprises this year. He won his third career title at Torrey Pines and has since followed with five top-12 results, including in each of his past four starts.||T-53, 2008|
|13. Ernie Els||
During a T-18 finish at the Masters that followed three straight MCs, the Big Easy had some choice comments about his chances in the year's first major. "I mean, it's crazy," he told reporters after a third-round 75. "If it's not going to happen, it's not going to happen. What can you do? But I'm just beating my head against a wall every time. I had a good attitude and the game was there, everything is there. We don't gel with the place."
The two-time U.S. Open champion might be feeling the same way about this tournament, where he hasn't finished inside the top-10 since 2004. Ten years ago at Pebble, he was co-runner-up, though that's hardly consolation, as he finished 15 shots off the pace. As always, it comes down to his mid-range putting. If Els can make his fair share of 10-foot putts, he'll be in the mix come Sunday evening.
|Win, 1994, 1997|
|14. Tiger Woods||
What a turn of events. The tournament's perennial prohibitive favorite has become its biggest wild card. It's true: Woods could either MC like he did recently at Quail Hollow or win by 15 strokes as happened the last time this event was held at Pebble. (Well, maybe the latter is a stretch. OK, a huge stretch.)
The point is, anyone who claims to know exactly how the game's No. 1-ranked player will fare this week is full of bluster. Best guess? He remains within striking distance, but never seriously contends for his 15th major title.
|Win, 2000, 2002, 2008|
|15. Padraig Harrington||
Beware the injured golfer. Harrington once won the Open Championship after nearly withdrawing earlier in the week due to a problematic wrist. This time, he underwent minor knee surgery just two weeks ago, though he appeared to be in fine form competing in Memphis.
Despite two Claret Jugs and a Wanamaker Trophy to his name, it's the U.S. Open that might best suit Paddy's game. He's among the most patient players in the world, as evidenced by come-from-behind victories in each of those aforementioned tournaments, and patience often prevailed at this event.
|16. Paul Casey||
One of five European players currently ranked in the top 10 on the Official World Golf Ranking, Casey has always appeared primed to win a big one and has proven his merits in these events, finishing 15th or better in each of the four major championships so far in his career.
Upon closer examination, however, you'll notice that the 32-year-old has yet to garner a top-five result. For a guy with all the tools, expect that to change very soon.
|17. Davis Love III||
Story of his life: Love's final-round scoring average of 72.83 is more than a full stroke higher than his overall scoring average and ranks a paltry 152nd on the PGA Tour. As a 20-time winner, it's not that he can't close; it's just that there are many tournaments in which he fails to play his best golf on the weekend.
DL3 played well over the opening two rounds at both the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship, but couldn't keep it up for 72 holes. Don't be surprised to see his name on the leaderboard at the midway point of this one, only to watch him fade once again during crunch time.
|18. Rory McIlroy||
Any doubts about the fervor over Boy Wonder were quashed at the Quail Hollow Championship, where he went from the cutline to runaway champion in 48 hours, thanks to a sublime final-round 62.
Perhaps just as impressive is the 21-year-old's major record so far. He's made the cut in five of six appearances, only failing to reach the weekend at this year's Masters, and already owns three top-20 results, including a T-10 at the last U.S. Open. Winning this tournament usually requires experience on this type of setup, but McIlroy is rewriting the rules seemingly every week.
|19. Lucas Glover||
Prior to last year's U.S. Open, Glover was largely thought to be an underachiever who had yet to reach his full potential. He was the type of player who had all the tools, but only one victory to show for it in six full PGA Tour seasons. A smart, patient strategy on waterlogged Bethpage Black changed all of that, as he defeated a triumvirate of runners-up by a pair of strokes.
Much like recent champions Geoff Ogilvy and Angel Cabrera, though, he is hardly the quintessential Open competitor. He's followed that title with five top-10 results in 25 appearances, but don't be surprised if he fails to add to that number this week.
|20. Rhys Davies||
Don't know the name? Learn it now. The 25-year-old from Wales already owns a win this season in Morocco, plus three runner-up finishes and a total of six top-10s. It was believed that this year could be the first time a host country is not represented at the Ryder Cup, but Davies is making a serious push for consideration.
He is currently fifth in the Race to Dubai and seventh in Euro Tour scoring average. Davies isn't totally without experience in the U.S., either, having played his collegiate golf at East Tennessee State University. He could be a very strong dark-horse candidate this week.
|21. K.J. Choi||He's always been smooth and steady, but Choi has added a dimension this year, improved from 81st in GIR percentage to sixth. The result: He has yet to miss the cut in 13 starts this season.||T-15, 2005|
|22. Francesco Molinari||Non-member earned his best PGA Tour result with a solo ninth-place finish at last month's Players Championship.||T-27, 2009|
|23. Bo Van Pelt||Has anyone been hotter recently? Since April, he has four top-fives in six starts and hasn't finished worse than 28th.||T-31, 2004|
|24. Steve Stricker||
After missing six weeks due to an injured clavicle, Stricker returned to finish T-38 at Colonial and T-17 at the Memorial. He should be getting healthy just in time. If there was ever a tourney that suited his game, it's this one; he owns top-30 finishes in nine of 14 career U.S. Open starts.
If there was ever a course that suited him, it's also this one; his relatively short driving distance shouldn't hinder his progress this week. Even so, for a guy who hasn't posted a top-10 in three months, it might be asking too much for a title contention this week.
|5th, 1998, 1999|
|25. Heath Slocum||Any list of the most underrated players on the PGA Tour must include this three-time winner, who is coming off a solo sixth-place finish in Memphis.||T-9, 2008|
|26. Noh Seung-Yul||With a victory at the Malaysian Open earlier this year, the 19-year-old is already considered a terrific ball-striker.||First appearance|
|27. Stewart Cink||Despite a half-dozen victories over 14 successful professional seasons, he remains known worldwide as The Guy Who Beat Tom Watson. Oh, and The Guy On Twitter, too.||3rd, 2001|
|28. Geoff Ogilvy||The 2006 champion at Winged Foot admitted after his victory that this isn't exactly his type of tournament. "This is the last one I would have thought I was going to win," he said, "because I don't drive it very straight."
Or is it? Just moments later, he followed by intimating, "But I've always been decent at grinding it out when par has been a good score. If you really set your mind to it and have the right attitude about it, it can be quite enjoyable." Ogilvy's attitude will be tested this week if he can keep it in the short grass off the tee.
|29. Brian Davis||Karma works in mysterious ways. Two months after calling a penalty on himself in a Heritage playoff, Davis is still waiting for the big reward.||T-61, 2003|
|30. Martin Kaymer||At No. 12 in the world, this 25-year-old is ranked ahead of the likes of Padraig Harrington and Geoff Ogilvy.||T-53, 2008|
|31. Mike Weir||Yes, this is a different Pebble Beach than we see during the AT&T, but Weir hopes it isn't too different, considering he owns seven finishes of eighth or better in that event since 2000.||T-3, 2003|
|32. Ricky Barnes
|His performance at last year's Open can best be described as a bust-buster. A one-time can't-miss kid who won the 2002 U.S. Amateur, Barnes toiled for years within golf's minor-league circuit before reaching the big leagues with the final exemption off the Nationwide Tour in 2008. He only earned one top-10 during last season's rookie campaign -- a share of second place at Bethpage Black -- but has already carded five such results this year.||T-2, 2009|
|33. Camilo Villegas||Quietly broke par for each of his final three rounds in Memphis to earn his fifth top-10 of the season.||T-9, 2008|
|34. Kevin Na||One of the slowest players on tour, he might have the talent to make the final pairing; only question is whether he'd finish before Monday morning.||First appearance|
|35. Jason Dufner||Unheralded and still largely unknown to the masses, the Auburn product has turned into a solid performer who can get hot in a hurry.||T-40, 2006|
|36. Dustin Johnson||With back-to-back victories at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, this long bomber is an obvious candidate to prevail once again this week. Upon closer inspection, though, he really hasn't played much golf on the famed links.
Last year's final round was washed away, meaning he teed it up for just 18 holes here, and he backed up an opening-round 64 earlier this year with a final-round 74. And yes, the course will play much differently than it did four months ago. Those are all negatives against a repeat performance, but don't underestimate a player's confidence level at a venue where he's won before.
|37. Brian Gay||What a difference a year makes. After winning by a combined 15 strokes at Harbour Town and Memphis last season, he finished outside the top-10 at each this year.||MC, six times|
|38. Justin Leonard||With no top-10s and just eight made cuts in 14 starts, he's struggled this season, but Leonard always seems to find a way to step up in Ryder Cup years.||T-12, 2002|
|39. Shaun Micheel||Former PGA Championship winner is fresh off a T-4 finish in his hometown of Memphis.||T-28, 2004|
|40. Tim Clark||Best full-time PGA Tour member without a career victory? Clark gladly gave up that title last month, with a monumental win at the Players Championship. Will be difficult for him to bottle that mojo for another big-time event, but anytime conditions are fast and firm, the diminutive South African stands a chance.
Clark's current ranks in driving accuracy percentage (second) and putting average (third) should explain all you need to know about his game.
|41. Charl Schwartzel||At one point this year, he was perhaps the world's hottest player, with two Euro Tour wins and a runner-up at Doral.||T-30, 2007|
|42. Scott Verplank||After back-to-back top-30 results at this event, he failed to make last year's field for the first time since 1997.||T-7, 2007|
|43. Steve Marino||Expect him to build on experience of playing in final pairing with Tom Watson in the third round of last year's Open Championship.||MC, twice|
|44. Robert Karlsson||One year after a left eye problem caused blurred vision and nearly led to the end of his golf career, the big Swede is back in a big way, with a win in Qatar and a playoff loss in Memphis this past week.
Let's remember how good this guy was before the injury. In 2008, he was T-8 at the Masters, T-4 at the U.S. Open, T-7 at the Open Championship and T-20 at the PGA Championship. No reason to believe he won't be back to his title-contending ways.
|45. Ryo Ishikawa||The 18-year-old will contend for many major titles in his career, but it might be asking too much to expect it to happen this week.||First appearance|
|46. Stephen Ames||If the tourney turns out to favor fairways-and-greens players who stay out of trouble, keep an eye on this underrated ball-striker.||T-9, 2004|
|47. Y.E. Yang||His back-to-back low rounds of the day on the weekend at Hazeltine last year remain some of the most inspired -- and unlikely -- major play in recent memory.||MC, 2005|
|48. Adam Scott||Not to go all broken record here, but the shoe fits: In 35 career major starts, he owns just four top-10s and no serious title contentions.||T-21, 2006|
|49. Retief Goosen||This will be his sixth attempt to earn his third career Open victory, which would place him just one behind the all-time leaders, a fearsome foursome that includes Willie Anderson, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus. It's not as if he's been way off, either. Since his second win in 2004, he's been 16th or better on three of five occasions.
The good news for Goosen is that he has established himself as one of the game's preeminent fast-greens putters. The bad news is that Pebble's greens will be slower than any Open in recent years.
|Win, 2001, 2004|
|50. Louis Oosthuizen||South Africa native owns three top-fives on the European Tour this season, including a win in Andalucia.||First appearance|
|51. Thongchai Jaidee||Nearly knocked off eventual champion Ian Poulter in the quarterfinals of this year's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.||T-74, 2001|
|52. Brandt Snedeker||After a final-hole meltdown at last year's BMW Championship left him on the outside looking in, it's nice to see Snedeker back in the field.||T-9, 2008|
|53. Robert Allenby||He's missed the cut in each of the past five Opens in odd-numbered years, but finished 18th or better in each of the past four during even-numbered years. Hmm, sense a pattern?
The irritable Aussie withdrew from last week's St. Jude Classic halfway through his opening round. Maybe he was allergic to shooting 5-over 40 on the front nine. Whatever the case, it certainly wasn't how he had envisioned his final start going into this week's event.
|54. Ross McGowan||At least he's hungry: McGowan was the first player in the field to register this week.||77th, 2008|
|55. Sean O'Hair||Strange season so far. He's finished in the top-25 in half of his starts, but has yet to seriously contend for a title.||T-23, 2009|
|56. Ian Poulter||Despite his worldwide pedigree, Poulter has very little experience competing in California, which could hurt his chances this week.||T-12, 2006|
|57. John Senden||Traditionally one of the better iron players around -- he was top-three in GIR in three of the past four seasons -- the Aussie has slipped to 37th in this category so far in 2010.||MC, 2004|
|58. Sergio Garcia||O Sergio, Sergio, wherefore art thou Sergio? Once thought to be a no-doubt-about-it multiple major champion, Garcia is now just hopeful his game shows up at the Pebble Beach lost-and-found box in time for Thursday's opening round.
In nine starts in U.S. stroke-play events this season, he has yet to finish better than a share of 37th place. It wouldn't figure that things could turn around for him at Pebble -- where he shot 67-77 in two rounds at the AT&T earlier this year -- but his major record is better than most people realize, with 15 top-10s in 43 appearances since turning pro in 1999.
|59. Kenny Perry||To paraphrase David Wooderson, everyone other competitor keeps getting older; KP stays the same age.||T-3, 2003|
|60. Russell Henley (a)||Sweet-swinging University of Georgia rising senior will have his brother, Adam, on the bag this week.||First appearance|
|61. Brendon de Jonge||With three top-10s already this season, the Zimbabwe native already has his PGA Tour card locked up for 2011.||First appearance|
|62. Ross Fisher||Finished 30th or better at each of the four major championships last year, including a best-of-solo fifth at Bethpage.||5th, 2009|
|63. Ben Curtis||Since winning the 2003 Open Championship in his first career major start, Curtis has made the cut in 12 of the next 26 majors, including three top-10s.||30th, 2004|
|64. Simon Khan||Recent winner of the European Tour's flagship event was a late addition to the U.S. Open field after earning only alternate status through a sectional qualifier.||MC, 2009|
|65. Edoardo Molinari||Won 2005 U.S. Amateur on a similarly tight track -- if not more so -- at Merion.||MC, 2006|
|66. Tom Watson||
As a student at Stanford University, Watson often used to tee off as a single at Pebble Beach in the early mornings and recalls that he never once broke 75. The 1982 U.S. Open champion at the famed venue received a special exemption into this year's field, but this will be no farewell tour.
In the past calendar year, he lost in a playoff at the Open Championship and contended into the weekend at the Masters. No player has more experience on this course than Watson, and perhaps no player will benefit more from its lack of length. He knows it, too. Asked whether he thinks he can contend this week, the 60-year-old responded matter-of-factly: "I think I can."
|67. Miguel Angel Jimenez||Tied for second place here at Pebble Beach 10 years ago. Of course, that was still 15 strokes off the lead.||T-2, 2000|
|68. Paul Goydos||The guy known as Sunshine led during the final round of this year's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, but shot a 78 to finish T-5.||T-12, 1999|
|69. Vijay Singh||Somewhat curious recipient of a USGA special exemption, considering he's never won this tournament and hasn't been on the first page of a leaderboard since 2006.||T-3, 1999|
|70. Derek Lamely||The most unheralded PGA Tour champion this season? It's gotta be this Nationwide Tour grad, who reigned in Puerto Rico.||First appearance|
|71. Andrew Putnam (a)||Pepperdine University rising senior is younger brother of Nationwide Tour veteran Michael Putnam.||First appearance|
|72. Bobby Gates||Nationwide Tour up-and-comer is currently third on that circuit's money list, meaning his PGA Tour card is virtually wrapped up for 2011.||First appearance|
|73. Erik Compton||There may be no greater story at this week's event than the inclusion of Compton, who qualified through the Columbus, Ohio, sectional one day after a 10-over 82 left him with a 71st-place result at the Memorial Tournament.
Arduous weekend rounds have become the norm for him, but they hardly tell the whole story. Compton often tires playing a full 72 holes because he's just two years removed from a second heart transplant surgery that left him battling for his life, let alone a career in professional golf. And yet, he's made the cut in all four PGA Tour events he has played this season. Reaching the weekend at Pebble Beach would bring more attention to his story.
|74. J.J. Henry||His one top-10 in 16 starts this season came in the form of a T-7 at the Quail Hollow Championship.||T-26, 2007|
|75. Soren Hansen||Recently avoided jail time due to tax evasion charges, but could still use a few big paydays to make up for the fines.||T-6, 2009|
|76. Gregory Havret||Big-time experience? Three years ago, he outlasted Phil Mickelson in a playoff to win the Scottish Open.||First appearance|
|77. Alvaro Quiros||Long-bombing Spaniard also has some touch around the greens, which should be cause for long-term concern for everyone else.||MC, 2009|
|78. Jerry Kelly||Good news: He's made the cut in 11 straight events, third most of all PGA Tour members. Bad news: None of 'em have resulted in a top-10 finish.||T-7, 2007|
|79. Stuart Appleby||After his streak of 52 straight major championship starts was snapped at the Masters, he's back to start a new one.||T-10, 1998|
|80. Chris Stroud||Journeyman proved he can hang with the big boys last month, posting an impressive performance at the Players Championship.||MC, three times|
|81. David Toms||Originally thought he'd need surgery on a bone spur in his shoulder, but has received treatment and played through it -- to mixed results.||T-5, 2003, 2007|
|82. Matt Bettencourt||Could have earned yourself a few quid predicting this guy to finish top-10 a year ago in his first major championship appearance.||T-10, 2009|
|83. Angel Cabrera||Hardly the quintessential U.S. Open type of player, El Pato held off a star-studded list of contenders in winning this event three years ago. Another triumph this week would mean his three career U.S. victories took place at Oakmont, Augusta National and Pebble Beach -- a pretty satisfactory trio, to say the least.
While Pebble Beach shouldn't favor the longer hitters, don't underestimate Cabrera's strength as a major asset toward advancing the ball out of the rough. Then again, if he spends all week in the rough, it might not matter how strong he is.
|84. Trevor Immelman||Believe it or not: The former Masters champion had never even set foot on the grounds at Pebble Beach until last week.||T-21, 2006|
|85. Michael Sim||Earned battlefield promotion last season, but has battled injuries in his return to the PGA Tour.||T-18, 2009|
|86. Henrik Stenson||Rumors of his breakup with longtime caddie Fanny Sunesson are untrue; she is back on the bag this week.||9th, 2009|
|87. Marc Leishman||The reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year earned his way into the field on the strength of reaching last year's Tour Championship.||First appearance|
|88. Yuta Ikeda||Japan Tour regular has found middling results in the U.S., with five made cuts and a best finish of T-22 so far.||First appearance|
|89. Fred Funk||In the field based on the strength of last year's U.S. Senior Open victory, expect the 54-year-old to hit the short grass more often than not. Hey, that's why his nickname is Fairway Fred -- or at least it should be.||6th, 2004|
|90. Jason Gore||It's been five years since Gore was the darling of the U.S. Open, recovering from a stolen car stereo to steal the hearts of fans at Pinehurst. Gore played in the final pairing on Sunday afternoon before a 14-over 84 left him in a share of 49th place.
There was a happy ending to the story, though, as he won three times afterward for a battlefield promotion to the PGA Tour, then added a victory there, as well. Now, though, Gore is back to splitting time between the two circuits and doesn't have any result better than T-47 in 14 combined appearances. In order to change that this week, the California native will need to draw on his previous Open experience -- well, the first three rounds, at least.
|91. Arjun Atwal||U.S. Open first-timer likely gleaned a few tips from his buddies on the range at Isleworth.||First appearance|
|92. Rocco Mediate||As first alternate from the Columbus, Ohio, sectional, he only reached the field when a non-qualified player failed to earn his second victory in the past year in Memphis.||2nd, 2008|
|93. Rory Sabbatini||In eight previous U.S. Open appearances, he's only made three cuts and owns a best finish of T-51.||T-51, 2007|
|94. Pablo Martin||A winner on the Euro Tour while still playing at Oklahoma State University, Martin has found a home on that circuit, adding another victory earlier this season.||T-30, 2007|
|95. Soren Kjeldsen||Despite a pair of top-10s in Europe, his three biggest paychecks of 2010 have come in U.S. events: WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship (T-33), WGC-CA Championship (T-60) and Masters (T-30).||T-52, 2005|
|96. John Rollins||Has never finished better than T-42 in a half-dozen career U.S. Open starts.||T-42, 2007|
|97. Alex Cejka||Solid ball-striker could find himself on the early leaderboard this week.||T-50, 1996|
|98. Oliver Wilson||England native is no stranger to great golf towns, having played his college golf in Augusta, Ga.||T-23, 2009|
|99. Byeong-Hun An (a)||Reigning U.S. Amateur champ was youngest to ever claim the title. Incoming freshman at Cal-Berkeley has already made a cut on the PGA Tour.||First appearance|
|100. David Duval||This is the most confounding results table for any player, bar none: Since the beginning of the 2003 season, Duval has competed in 135 events on the PGA Tour with just a pair of top-10 finishes -- but each of those was a share of second place. Perhaps that's what happens when a 13-time winner and former world No. 1 plays his best golf these days, as he's either infrequently very good or frequently not very good at all.
One of those runner-up results, of course, came at this tournament one year ago, as Double-D turned back the clock and nearly picked off a momentous and momentum-shifting victory at Bethpage. He'll tell anyone who will listen that he remains "close" to regaining his form, but it would be difficult to believe that a guy who drives it crooked and doesn't hit many greens would contend once again.
|101. David Frost||More recently known for his wine-making than his golf, he recently reached a playoff at the Senior PGA Championship.||T-15, 1986|
|102. Morgan Hoffmann (a)||One day after his Oklahoma State team lost the NCAA championship, he eased the pain by qualifying through sectionals.||First appearance|
|103. Charles Warren||Clemson product finished T-11 in his opening start of the season, but hasn't fared better than T-44 since.||T-37, 2000|
|104. Simon Dyson||European Tour mainstay is hitting more fairways and greens than ever before. Unfortunately, he's also rolling more putts, too.||MC, twice|
|105. Aaron Baddeley||Three years ago, he held the 54-hole lead at Oakmont before a final-round 80 left him in a share of 13th place.||T-13, 2007|
|106. Azuma Yano||He was in serious contention heading into the weekend at Bethpage last year, thanks to a second-round 65, but could only muster a T-27 result.||T-27, 2009|
|107. Bob Estes||Longtime PGA Tour veteran earned medalist honors at the sectional in The Woodlands, Texas.||T-11, 2005|
|108. Jon Curran||Fellow members of his Framingham (Mass.) CC home course contend he might make some noise this week.||First appearance|
|109. John Mallinger||Fourth-year PGA Tour veteran is mired in a wicked slump, with a dozen MCs in 14 starts this season, though he was T-13 at Colonial a few weeks ago.||T-45, 2009|
|110. Peter Hanson||Opening-round 66 at Bethpage led to a career-best T-18 finish in last year's U.S. Open.||T-18, 2009|
|111. Rafa Echenique||With no Andres Romero in the field, Echenique joins Angel Cabrera as the only players from Argentina.||First appearance|
|112. Hugo Leon||Local qualifying alternate found out he had made it into the sectional less than 24 hours before his tee time, but made it to the U.S. Open through Columbus, Ohio.||First appearance|
|113. James Morrison||Already a winner on the European Tour this season, the 25-year-old is yet another British invasion up-and-comer.||First appearance|
|114. Jason Allred||Perhaps the least heralded of the two dozen past USGA champions in the field, he won the 1997 U.S. Junior Amateur.||MC, 2006|
|115. Steve Allan||Journeyman Aussie was co-medalist at the Littleton, Colo., sectional.||T-28, 2005|
|116. Ty Tryon||Sound familiar? Tryon reached the PGA Tour in 2002 at the tender age of 17, but made the cut in just four of 21 starts and quickly became the poster child for cautionary tales about youngsters reaching the big leagues too early.
Since then, he's been kicking around the mini-tours in an effort to reach that level once again. Now 26, Tryon might not be ready to claim his full-time playing privileges, but reaching the U.S. Open is a major step in the right direction. And playing well could mean he's remembered for more than just peaking too early.
|117. Mathias Gronberg||After starting the season with four straight MCs, he's finished in the money in four of his past five.||T-72, 2001|
|118. Hiroyuki Fujita||At 41, he is exactly one year older than Phil Mickelson. Each celebrated his birthday at Pebble Beach on Wednesday.||First appearance|
|119. Harrison Frazar||Has shown a penchant for qualifying -- not only for this, but for the PGA Tour, where he once posted a 59 at Q-school.||T-52, 2002|
|120. Scott Langley (a)||It's been a nice few weeks for the University of Illinois lefty, who won the NCAA individual title four days before qualifying for the Open.||First appearance|
|121. Dan McCarthy||Mini-tour player hails from Syracuse, N.Y., and attended Le Moyne College -- the same school that beat Syracuse University in basketball last year.||First appearance|
|122. Mikko Ilonen||Finland player might have a name that only a hockey fan could love, but he's a longtime European Tour veteran.||First appearance|
|123. Hudson Swafford (a)||After back-to-back second-team All-America selections, the University of Georgia player redshirted this past season due to shoulder surgery.||First appearance|
|124. Jim Herman||Nationwide Tour regular already has one win on that circuit this season.||First appearance|
|125. Blaine Peffley||At one point during his 36-hole sectional qualifier in Summit, N.J., he went 26 holes without a bogey.||First appearance|
|126. Kaname Yokoo||Japan Tour veteran hasn't made a cut in the U.S. since 2007, when he finished T-46 at the Sony Open.||T-57, 1999|
|127. Erick Justesen||Although he'll admit that other competitors have logged more rounds at Pebble Beach, no one in the U.S. Open field knows the hallowed grounds better than Justesen. Before turning pro two years ago, Justesen caddied at the famed track.
Fact is, it was so recently that he claims, without sarcasm, "I think I'm still on a part-time caddie list there." He looped at Pebble for three or four years, living in Monterey, Calif., and using the money he earned to help pay his way through college.
|128. Gareth Maybin||Like Graeme McDowell, Maybin is a native of Northern Ireland and played his collegiate golf at the University of South Alabama.||First appearance|
|129. Eric Axley||How's this for curious: Axley has struggled in regular PGA Tour events, but blitzed a stack field in Columbus, Ohio, to win his sectional by seven.||T-9, 2008|
|130. Kent Jones||Crazy stat: He's made 318 career PGA Tour starts without a single top-five result. Not happening this week, either.||T-48, 2006|
|131. Daniel Summerhays||Three years ago, he became the first amateur to ever win a Nationwide Tour event.||First appearance|
|132. Paul Sheehan||Aussie has bounced around major tours, but mostly plies his craft on the Asian Tour these days.||First appearance|
|133. Jean-Francois Lucquin||Has missed the cut in 10 of 14 starts on the European circuit this season, with only one finish inside the top-30.||T-54, 2009|
|134. Rikard Karlberg||Ranked 421st in the world, this 24-year-old Swede isn't currently exempt on any major professional tour.||First appearance|
|135. Craig Barlow||First cousin of The Killers lead singer Brandon Flowers, he will either look "Human" or "Everything Will Be All Right."||T-26, 2006|
|136. Steven Wheatcroft||He's missed 10 of 14 cuts on the PGA Tour this season, but did finish in a share of third in Puerto Rico.||First appearance|
|137. Terry Pilkadaris||First trip to Pebble Beach came in the form of a few practice rounds last week.||First appearance|
|138. Rich Barcelo||Fun fact: As a kid, he competed in the 1986 Little League World Series for a Tucson team that lost in the final to Taiwan.||First appearance|
|139. Matthew Richardson||England native currently plays the Canadian Tour and lives full-time in Woodbridge, Ontario.||First appearance|
|140. Toru Taniguchi||In six previous U.S. Open appearances, the longtime Japan Tour pro has never made the cut.||MC, six times|
|141. Joseph Bramlett (a)||Stanford University product will likely have plenty of support from the local galleries.||First appearance|
|142. Ben Martin (a)||Clemson University team member shot 72-78 to miss the cut last year at Bethpage.||MC, 2009|
|143. Rafael Cabrera-Bello||Mired in a poor European Tour campaign, with a best finish of T-17 in 15 appearances so far.||First appearance|
|144. Michael Campbell||Poor Cambo. Poor, poor Cambo. The five-year anniversary of his triumph at Pinehurst won't be celebrated so much as it will lead to the unending question, "What happened?"
Injuries have played a part, but it's been a complete downward spiral for the Kiwi, whose game and confidence level are at an all-time low. He has yet to make a cut on any major tour yet this year and has failed to break 80 in more than half of his rounds.
|145. Gary Boyd||In the midst of a disappointing European Tour campaign, with just six made cuts in 13 starts.||First appearance|
|146. Jerry Smith||PGA Tour veteran hasn't played an event since 2007, when he made the cut in just five of 19 starts.||MC, three times|
|147. Kent Eger||Joins Mike Weir and Stephen Ames as the only players from Canada in the field.||First appearance|
|148. Kenny Kim||Former UC-Irvine player was one of very few who toured Pebble Beach last week in advance of the Open.||First appearance|
|149. Gary Woodland||Watch out, Alvaro and Dustin. This guy may challenge for this week's driving distance title.||T-47, 2009|
|150. Deane Pappas||Don't get this Nationwide Tour veteran confused with brother Brenden, who is currently exempt on the PGA Tour.||First appearance|
|151. Jason Preeo||Ex-University of the Pacific head coach beat out 1992 U.S. Open champ Tom Kite, among others, in a sectional qualifier.||First appearance|
|152. Mark Silvers||2009 University of South Carolina graduate calls competing in the Open "a dream come true."||First appearance|
|153. Travis Hampshire||Mini-tour veteran is not only playing in his first PGA Tour-sanctioned event, he'd never been to California before this week.||First appearance|
|154. Kevin Phelan (a)||Rising sophomore at the University of North Florida came to the U.S. from Ireland seven years ago.||First appearance|
|155. Alex Martin (a)||Indiana University team member is currently the 157th-ranked amateur in the world.||First appearance|
|156. Bennett Blakeman (a)||Currently pursuing his masters at Loyola University in Chicago, the 23-year-old considers his biggest previous events "maybe the Illinois State Amateur -- either that or the Division III national championship."||First appearance|
2010 U.S. OPEN
At a U.S. Open that will likely always be defined by failure, Graeme McDowell turned what was a final-day fiasco for just about everyone else into the highlight of a lifetime. Bob Harig | Championship Central2010 champion: Graeme McDowell
Course: Pebble Beach Golf Links
Where: Pebble Beach, Calif.
Yardage, par: 7,040 yards, par-71