5 for your office pool

Posted: June 10, 2007

Tiger Woods

World rank: 1. Best Open finish: 1st (2000, 2002).

Why he could win: Duh. He's Tiger Woods, the best player in the world, and he's chasing Jack Nicklaus' record.

Why not: He ranks 165th in driving accuracy, a stat that will not go unpunished at the U.S. Open.

Phil Mickelson

World rank: 2. Best Open finish: 2d (1999, 2002, 2004, 2006).

Why he could win: Redemption from last year. That and the fact that under Butch Harmon, he's hitting tee shots straighter, a must at the Open.

Why not: See Open 2006. Also, his injured wrist could be a factor.

Jim Furyk

World rank: 3. Best Open finish: 1st (2003).

Why he could win: Furyk hangs around and hangs around and hangs around. The man is a grinder. He never lets up, especially in big tournaments. And he knows how to win.

Why not: Except for the Colonial and a couple of top-10 finishes early in the season, it has been a so-so year for Furyk.

Adam Scott

World rank: 4. Best Open finish: Tied for 21st (2006).

Why he could win: Another Butch Harmon pupil, Scott has played his way to No. 4 in the world. Plus he's hot now, having won Houston last month, followed by back-to-back top-10 finishes at the Players and the Memorial. Scott is a major winner waiting to happen.

Why not: Winning that first major is not easy.

Dark horse: Sean O'Hair

World rank: 70. Best Open finish: Tied for 26th (2006).

Why he could win: Despite his lousy finish at the Players, O'Hair is more confident than ever and playing well. He just finished tied for fifth at the Memorial, and he got into the Open via a qualifier. He's ready to win again.

Why not: Winning and winning the Open are two different things.

- Joe Logan

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