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Saturday, June 16, 2012

What a Shake-Up!

WOW! Did anybody really expect this? So many big names faded away early, and so many others stepped up to fill the gap.

All 5 of my picks made the cut -- and, theoretically at least, still have a chance to win this thing -- but the main contenders at day's end were not the players most of us expected to see. Still, none of them can be considered flukes. Just among the lead 7 (players between -1 and +1):
  • David Toms, Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods, and Graeme McDowell are all major winners. All but Toms are U.S. Open champions.
  • Michael Thompson was runner-up at the 2007 U.S. Amateur held at the Olympic Club and low amateur at the 2008 U.S. Open.
  • John Peterson was the 2011 NCAA Individual Champion and was runner-up (while still an amateur) to Harris English (also an amateur at the time) when he won the 2011 Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational.
  • And Nicholas Colsaerts, though maybe not familiar to American fans, is a multiple winner on the European Tour, including the 2012 Volvo World Match Play Championship in May.
Even Beau Hossler, the 17-year-old amateur who made news Friday when he briefly took the lead -- and is still only 4 shots off the lead -- is playing in his 2nd Open. He's gone through Open qualifying 2 years in a row!

Add in all the other "stories" in the field behind these players, and you simply can't say there's a fluke in the bunch.

The USGA says they will do very little watering to the course for Saturday, and the weather is predicted to be the warmest yet. This may literally end up being one hell of an Open!

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