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Sports

U.S. Open players to watch

| Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Level one

Tiger Woods: Where else should the No. 1 player in the world be?

Level two

Phil Mickelson: The big left-hander's new swing gets put to the ultimate test.

Jim Furyk: He's an U.S. Open champion and hits it straight.

Level three

Zach Johnson: Pretty hard to think that as well as he's playing, he won't be a factor at Oakmont.

Vijay Singh: He'll need to putt much better than he normally does. His strength could be a big positive in the rough.

Retief Goosen: The quiet man has proven his skill in putting on smooth, fast surfaces. Getting to them may be his problem.

Level four

Geoff Ogilvy: The defending U.S. Open champion will be in the spotlight from the start.

Adam Scott: He's the next great one wannabe, but is he ready to stand up to U.S. Open pressure?

Steve Stricker: One of these days, this guy is going to win a big tournament. He doesn't hit it far, but he hits straight and has been in contention a lot this year.

Stewart Cink: Another guy who has way too much game to have not been a major championship winner.

Level five

Ernie Els: The champion the last time the U.S. Open was played here. His game is starting to improve

Davis Love III: He's on this list because he loves traditional golf courses. He's played Oakmont before, so his experience will help.

Luke Donald: Another player who hits it straight enough. Will his iron game be sharp enough to put the ball where it needs to be on the greens?

David Toms: The man from Louisiana has a PGA Championship title, but he hasn't been much of a regular contender since. Could Oakmont get his attention?

Jose Maria Olazabal: A two-time Masters champion knows how to perform under pressure and played well in the Players Championship last month.

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