US Open Golf 2012 Leaderboard: Above-Par Contenders Heading into Round 3

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 16, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 15:  Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the first hole during the second round of the 112th U.S. Open at The Olympic Club on June 15, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Only three golfers were able to finish the first two rounds of the 2012 U.S. Open below par, but there are a number of competitors who can still move up the leaderboards over the weekend.

This tournament is proving to be one of the toughest in years. Last year, winner Rory McIlroy finished 16 strokes under par at Congressional Country Club. No one will approach that number at Olympic Club in San Francisco.

The winner of the U.S. Open will be someone who can be consistent throughout the tournament and avoid too many bogeys. Golfers will move up and down the leaderboard, but these men should be there at the end.


Graeme McDowell (+1)

McDowell has not exactly been the model of consistency this tournament, but he has made some impressive shots on this difficult course.

The Northern Ireland native has seven birdies and eight bogeys in the first two rounds, but unlike some of his peers he has avoided having one bad hole. If he can keep hitting birdies at the same rate, he stays in the top 10.


Matt Kuchar (+3)

He is not yet a household name, but Matt Kuchar is slowly moving up the rankings as one of the best golfers in the world. Ranked No. 6 in the world, he just had his best-ever major finish in the Masters as he tied for third.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 15:  Matt Kuchar of the United States watches his tee shot on the second hole during the second round of the 112th U.S. Open at The Olympic Club on June 15, 2012 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Through the first two rounds, only Jim Furyk has hit more greens in regulation. Kuchar has great consistency and can wait out the competition to win his first major championship this weekend.


Jason Dufner (+3)

With two wins and six top-10 finishes, Jason Dufner has earned the most money of any golfer on the PGA Tour in 2012. 

He has continued his solid play in the U.S. Open, as he is one of few golfers to hit 72 or better in both rounds. Dufner needs to hit more fairways, but his 57 percent is already among the best. A little better accuracy could help him win this weekend.


Hunter Mahan (+3)

If not for a disastrous triple bogey on the sixth hole yesterday, Mahan could be sitting in second place at this point.

He is among the leaders in driving accuracy and greens in regulation over the first two days, and he has the experience necessary to stay in the top 10. He needs to stay focused and avoid another collapse that could knock him off the leaderboard.