US Open Leaderboard 2013: Early Contenders Who Won't Finish Strong This Weekend

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJune 13, 2013

June 12, 2013; Ardmore, PA, USA;  Estanislao Goya yells
Eileen Blass-USA TODAY Sports

Although play at Merion was suspended on Thursday before every golfer could finish his first round, there are already some clear-cut contenders who will be in contention as the week plays out. 

Luke Donald, who has finished in the top 10 at seven different majors and is ranked No. 6 in the world, leads the field after burying three straight birdies to move to four-under through his first 13 holes. 

Phil Mickelson is the leader in the clubhouse after shooting a three-under 67. That's not what you would call a surprise—"Lefty" has four major championships and an amazing five second-place U.S. Open finishes under his belt.

Tied with him is Adam Scott, who sits at three-under through 11 holes. The 32-year-old Australian being in serious contention at majors has become as common as death and taxes. 

While the three at the top will be around on Saturday and Sunday, let's take a look at some early threats who are likely to tumble as the week progresses. 


Mathew Goggin (-2)

Goggin was only able to get through six holes on his 39th birthday, but he still managed to card a two-under and showcase some impressive shot-making. 

Still, there's not much to suggest he's someone to trust going forward. 

The veteran Australian has made the cut at the U.S. Open just once in his career, and that came in 2007 when he finished tied for 36th. Since that tournament, he's only made the cut at one other major—The Open Championship in 2009.

In fact, this is his first major overall since The Open in 2010.

Goggin won twice on the Nationwide Tour in 2011 and did well to qualify for this year's U.S. Open, but his track record suggests he isn't a contender. 


Estanislao Goya (-1)

The 25-year-old Argentine sits one-under through 11 holes, but we've already seen a slight preview of his descent. 

After impressively making two birdies and five pars through his first seven holes, he went on to bogey two of the next four before play was stopped. 

This tweet, courtesy of golf writer Jeff Brooke, should be all you need to know about Goya:

Estanislao Goya of Argentina 1 under and T4. One of less than five guys in field I've NEVER heard of. That's something.

— Jeff Brooke (@thejeffbrooke) June 13, 2013

He tallied two Challenge Tour wins in 2008 and a European Tour victory in 2009, but since then he has made very little noise. He appeared in his only major—The Open Championship—in 2010 but failed to make the cut. 

Don't expect him to remain in the top 10 for much longer. 


Peter Hedblom (-1)

The 43-year-old has had a solid career with three European Tour wins and two top-25 finishes at the U.S. Open, but he hasn't done anything lately to suggest he's a legitimate contender. 

He hasn't played in a major since 2009 and hasn't made the cut at one since 2006.

The veteran took advantage of a back nine that is playing fairly easy with four birdies, two bogeys and two pars (he started on No. 11), but he bogeyed No. 3. It will be an accomplishment if he simply holds on to make the cut.