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Top Contenders at the 108th U.S. Open

Asscoiated Press
Web Posted: Monday, June 9, 2008; 12:15 a.m.
TIGER WOODS
Age: 32.
Country: United States.
World ranking: 1.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Won the Buick Invitational six times and a Junior World Championship once.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Won.
Majors: Masters (4), U.S. Open (2), British Open (3), PGA Championship (4).
Worldwide victories: 75.
Best U.S. Open moment: Winning by 15 shots at Pebble Beach in 2000.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Missing the cut at Winged Foot in 2006 after a nine-week layoff.
Noteworthy: A victory would give him the career Grand Slam three times, joining Jack Nicklaus.

ERNIE ELS
Age: 38.
Country: South Africa.
World ranking: 4.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Tied for 6th in the 2005 Buick Invitational, his only appearance.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Won.
Majors: U.S. Open (2), British Open (1).
Worldwide victories: 60.
Best U.S. Open moment: Winning a three-man playoff at Oakmont in 1994 that lasted 20 holes.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Shooting 80 in the final group at Shinnecock Hills in 2004.
Noteworthy: Trying to become only the sixth player with at least three U.S. Open titles.

RETIEF GOOSEN
Age: 39.
Country: South Africa.
World ranking: 33.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Has never competed.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Won.
Majors: U.S. Open (2).
Worldwide victories: 28.
Best U.S. Open moment: One-putting the final six greens to win in 2004 at Shinnecock Hills.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Three-putting from 12 feet on the 18th hole to fall into a playoff in 2001 at Southern Hills.
Noteworthy: Has only two top-10s - both victories - in his 10 appearances at the U.S. Open.

PHIL MICKELSON
Age: 37.
Country: United States.
World ranking: 2.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Won the Buick Invitational three times.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Runner-up four times.
Majors: Masters (2), PGA Championship (1).
Worldwide victories: 35.
Best U.S. Open moment: Opening with a 68 at Pebble Beach in 1992, his professional debut.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Making double bogey on the 18th hole at Winged Foot in 2006 to finish one shot behind.
Noteworthy: Tied with Sam Snead for most runner-up finishes (4) without winning.

ANGEL CABRERA
Age: 38.
Country: Argentina.
World ranking: 22.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Missed the cut in 2003, his only appearance in the Buick Invitational.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Won.
Majors: U.S. Open (1).
Worldwide victories: 18.
Best U.S. Open moment: Tee shot on the 18th hole at Oakmont in 2007 that split the middle of the fairway and led to his victory.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Finished 22-over 302 at Bethpage Black in 2002, his only U.S. Open score over 300.
Noteworthy: He has never missed the cut in a U.S. Open.

GEOFF OGILVY
Age: 31.
Country: Australia.
World ranking: 5.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: 67th in the 2003 Buick Invitational.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Won.
Majors: U.S. Open (1).
Worldwide victories: 4.
Best U.S. Open moment: Making a 6-foot par putt on the 18th hole at Winged Foot that ultimately brought him victory in 2006.
Worst U.S. Open moment: He has never broken par at the U.S. Open.
Noteworthy: Has broken par only twice in 10 rounds at Torrey Pines.

JIM FURYK
Age: 38.
Country: United States.
World ranking: 8.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: A tie for 37th at the Buick Invitational this year.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Won.
Majors: U.S. Open (1).
Worldwide victories: 16.
Best U.S. Open moment: Tying the U.S. Open scoring record of 272 in 2003 at Olympia Fields.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Making bogey on the last two holes to settle for a share of the scoring record.
Noteworthy: Played Buick Invitational this year for the first time since 2001. This is not his favorite golf course.

SERGIO GARCIA
Age: 28.
Country: Spain.
World ranking: 11.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: With a share of the 54-hole lead, he closed with a 75 and tied for 8th.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Tied for 3rd in 2005 at Pinehurst No. 2.
Majors: None.
Worldwide victories: 17.
Best U.S. Open moment: Playing with Tiger Woods in the final group at Bethpage Black in 2002.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Shooting the bird to fans at Bethpage Black who were heckling him.
Noteworthy: Has missed the cut in his last two U.S. Opens.

VIJAY SINGH
Age: 45.
Country: Fiji.
World ranking: 10.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Tied for 11th in the 2002 Buick Invitational.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Tied for 3rd in 1999 at Pinehurst No. 2.
Majors: Masters (1), PGA Championship (2).
Worldwide victories: 53.
Best U.S. Open moment: Tying a major championship record with a 63 in the second round at Olympia Fields in 2003.
Worst U.S. Open moment: One shot out of the lead, bogeyed the final three holes of the third round to fall five behind in 2003.
Noteworthy: Has gone more than a year since his last PGA Tour victory, 2007 at Bay Hill.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON
Age: 37.
Country: Ireland.
World ranking: 14.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Has never competed.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Fifth at Winged Foot in 2006.
Majors: British Open (1).
Worldwide victories: 19.
Best U.S. Open moment: Shot 68 in the rain at Bethpage Black to earn a spot in the last group of the third round with Tiger Woods.
Worst U.S. Open moment: One shot out of the lead in the third round, took triple bogey on the 18th hole at Winged Foot in 2006.
Noteworthy: Has not won a tournament since the British Open.

STEVE STRICKER
Age: 41.
Country: United States.
World ranking: 7.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Tied for 28th in 2000 Buick Invitational.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Tied for 5th at Olympic Club in 1998 and 5th alone at Pinehurst No. 2 in 1999.
Majors: None.
Worldwide victories: 6.
Best U.S. Open moment: Holing a bunker shot at Winged Foot on his final hole of the second round for the 36-hole lead.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Tied for the lead at the turn, he made double bogey on the 10th and 11th on his way to a 42 on the back nine at Oakmont in 2007.
Noteworthy: Has missed the cut six out of 10 times at the Buick Invitational.

STEWART CINK
Age: 35.
Country: United States.
World ranking: 12.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Tied for 3rd at the 2008 Buick Invitational.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: 3rd at Southern Hills in 2001.
Majors: None.
Worldwide victories: 6.
Best U.S. Open moment: Shot under par the first three rounds at Southern Hills in 2001 and was tied for the 54-hole lead.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Trying to tap in a bogey putt to clear the final green for apparent winner Retief Goosen, he missed an 18-inch putt and wound up one shot out of a playoff.
Noteworthy: Has earned more than $9.5 million since his last victory in 2004.

DAVID TOMS
Age: 41.
Country: United States.
World ranking: 61.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Won the Junior World Championship in 1984.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Tied for 5th in 2003 at Olympia Fields and in 2007 at Oakmont.
Majors: PGA Championship (1).
Worldwide victories: 12.
Best U.S. Open moment: One of two players to shoot 73 or better all four days at Oakmont.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Shot an 82 at Pinehurst No. 2 in 1999, the only time in 36 rounds he shot in the 80s.
Noteworthy: Scoring average in fourth round of a U.S. Open is 74.3.

TREVOR IMMELMAN
Age: 28.
Country: South Africa.
World ranking: 16.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Won the U.S. Amateur Public Links in 1998.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Tied for 21st at Winged Foot in 2006.
Majors: Masters (1).
Worldwide victories: 7.
Best U.S. Open moment: Opening with a 69 at Shinnecock Hills in 2004.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Closing with an 82 at Shinnecock Hills in 2004.
Noteworthy: He is the only man capable of the Grand Slam this year.

COLIN MONTGOMERIE
Age: 44.
Country: Scotland.
World ranking: 102.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Has never competed.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Runner-up at Congressional in 1997.
Majors: None.
Worldwide victories: 37.
Best U.S. Open moment: Jack Nicklaus in the broadcast booth proclaiming him the winner of the 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Tied for the lead on the 18th hole at Winged Foot in 2006, chunked a 7-iron and made double bogey.
Noteworthy: Has finished in the top 20 at every major championship venue in California.

STEPHEN AMES
Age: 44.
Country: Trinidad & Tobago.
World ranking: 24.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Tied for 41st in the 2000 Buick Invitational.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Tied for 9th at Shinnecock Hills in 2004.
Majors: None.
Worldwide victories: 6.
Best U.S. Open moment: Tied for the lead on the sixth hole of the final round at Oakmont in 2007.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Taking triple bogey on No. 7 and double bogey on No. 9 in the final round at Oakmont for 40 on the front.
Noteworthy: Playing his first major in California.

PAUL CASEY
Age: 30.
Country: England.
World ranking: 42.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Tied for 22nd in the 2002 Buick Invitational, his only appearance.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Tied for 10th at Oakmont in 2007.
Majors: None.
Worldwide victories: 8.
Best U.S. Open moment: Shooting a 66 in the second round at Oakmont, 11 strokes better than the average score.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Withdrawing after opening with an 85 at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2005.
Noteworthy: Only three top-10s in 21 majors.

JUSTIN ROSE
Age: 27.
Country: England.
World ranking: 6.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Tied for 51st in the 2007 Buick Invitational.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Tied for 5th at Olympia Fields in 2003.
Majors: None.
Worldwide victories: 6.
Best U.S. Open moment: Finished at even-par 280 in his first U.S. Open in 2003.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Failed to show up at a 14-for-1 playoff in sectional qualifying because he thought his score would not be good enough to get in.
Noteworthy: Europe's highest-ranked player.

HENRIK STENSON
Age: 32.
Country: Sweden
World ranking: 13.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Has never competed.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Tied for 26th at Winged Foot in 2006.
Majors: None.
Worldwide victories: 6.
Best U.S. Open moment: Made a birdie on No. 8 at Oakmont, the longest par 3 in U.S. Open history, in the second round.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Failed to make a single birdie in his first round at Oakmont in 2007.
Noteworthy: Booked a tee time at Torrey Pines in December to see the South Course and was paired with a couple who had just started playing. One of them was named Pamela Anderson (no relation to the actress).

ANTHONY KIM
Age: 22.
Country: United States.
World ranking: 19.
Highest finish at Torrey Pines: Won the Junior World Championship in 2001.
Highest finish at the U.S. Open: Tied for 20th at Oakmont in 2007.
Majors: None.
Worldwide victories: 1.
Best U.S. Open moment: Closing with a 67 at Oakmont in 2007, the lowest score of the final round.
Worst U.S. Open moment: Shooting an 80 at Oakmont, matching the highest score of the third round.
Noteworthy: This will be only his third major.

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