Peter Hanson: Since 2005 he’s played the weekend four of six times in this event and his finishes have gotten progressively better (T18, T16 and T7) before he MC last year. In his last eight majors he’s racked up finishes of T23, T7, T7 and T3 in four of them, all at different majors. He has the game that can travel and adapt to all styles of major courses, obviously.
Kevin Chappell: He’s made three cuts from three tries in his young career in two US Opens and a Masters. His T44 at Augusta this year was in his first try so he won’t be too much bothered by that. But it’s the US Open where the former UCLA grad has earned his reputation as he finished T3 at Congressional and T10 last year at Olympic. His last time out he finished solo second at the Memorial so you can argue his form is on song as well.
Michael Thompson: His first US Open found him to be the low amateur and his second found him to, well, be second last year at Olympic. He’s demonstrated that he can beat an excellent field on a tough golf course as he won this year’s Honda Classic in early March. He might not hit every green but he just might hole enough putts to be a factor. He’s obviously not afraid of being on this stage.
Angel Cabrera: Another US Open in Pennsylvania? Sure, why not! Cabrera only comes out to play when the most chips are on the table, evidenced by his P2 at Augusta earlier this season. He’s made three out of five cuts since his victory in 2007. Oh, and he won the Masters in 2009 but you knew that anyhow.
Thorbjorn Olesen: In only four majors the young Dane has racked up two top 10 finishes in the last three years. He was T9 at last year’s Open Championship and T6 at this year’s Masters. He also finished T27 last year at Kiawah at the PGA Championship. Not bad for your first PGA and first Masters appearances. This is his first US Open so don’t be surprised if he turns in another solid performance.
Lucas Glover: He won on a sodden Bethpage Black in 2009 and stranger things have happened. He’ll hit tons of fairways and greens but his short game and putting have let him down recently. He had a sniff at The Honda Classic and couldn’t hold the 54-hole lead in New Orleans so he’s been close.
Padraig Harrington: I can’t believe I’m typing this but why not? The ultimate grinder on the other side of the pond, Harrington has shown at Valero and TPC Southwind, two of the tougher courses on TOUR, that he was up for the challenge as he posted T10 at both. He’ll be a rank outsider but he has won three majors in his career and has that experience to rely upon.
Scott Stallings: With finishes of T2, T4 and T4 in his last three TOUR events over three challenging courses, it would be irresponsible not to give him a shot this week.
Kyle Stanley: A pair of thirds and a T6 in three of his last six TOUR finishes tells me this ball-striker is hot at the right time as well. His ball-striking is his strength and if it stays wet throughout the week, that can help with the putting and shots around the green. Think Glover 2009.
Ryan Palmer: His only US Open in the last five years was T21 at Congressional under similar weather circumstances. He’s made seven weekends in a row and includes finishes of T5 at THE PLAYERS and T4 last week in Memphis. I’ll fire on him again.
Boo Weekley: There’s no point sleeping on a ball-striker of this magnitude in his career season. Here’s another player who is praying for all the rain possible so that he can cash in on and around the greens this week. He currently sits 13th in the all-around ranking.
Hunter Mahan: Gamers have been waiting and waiting for Mahan to reheat in 2013 and I think this could be the week based on his recent form. Now, to be fair, this isn’t the form we expect from Mahan, but he’s finished T16, T26 and T19 in his last three on TOUR. This was after T73, 91st, MC and MC so it’s moving in the right direction. If there is any week he’ll be overlooked in deep drafts, this should be it. I wouldn’t jump early but I’ll fill a later pick with him.
Matteo Manassero: He’s played in two US Opens and he’s made both cuts. Not bad for the lad who turned 20 in April. He’s also won once a season on the European Tour since 2010. He was The Amateur Champion of 2009. He held off Lee Westwood and won a three-man playoff at Wentworth in late May.
Kevin Streelman: Another player having a career-year, Streelman might fall after MC in his last two events. He’s never threatened in three attempts but he’s never missed the cut either.
Russell Henley: This kid is for real. He’s also made the weekend in both US Opens that he’s played including low amateur at Pebble Beach (T16) in 2010. He’s having a great rookie season and he has the game for courses like this.
Take It Deep
Nicolas Colsaerts: If it’s wet and thick, his length could be a huge factor this week as he’s one of the longest players around. He hits plenty of GIR as well and was a factor at The Open (T7) last summer.
Robert Garrigus: He’s proved in 2011 that he could handle wet and long courses with his T3 at Congressional. He’s really struggled with the short-game this season but he’s another who kills it off the tee and hits GIR and could benefit from soggy greens.
Morgan Hoffman: At 19, he led halfway through round No. 1 at Pebble Beach before dunking two in the water. Last year, he finished T29 at Olympic Club. The New Jersey native qualified there for the 2005 US Amateur. He played the 2009 Walker Cup on the same course and didn’t lose a match. He’s played a ton of rounds at Merion as well living across the river in New Jersey.
Rickie Fowler: Another 2009 Walker Cup member, Fowler went 4-0 with Hoffmann (both OSU Cowboys as well) as the US triumphed. Fowler hasn’t had a top 25 since API in March so he finds himself on this list. He’s accurate and can putt it but he’s riding the roller coaster right now of inconsistency.
Billy Horschel: He’s not Francis Ouimet but he can play some pretty good golf. Too much to expect anything big from him but the second you count him out, he tends to jump up and surprise.
John Peterson: Another youngster with bags of talent, Peterson finished T4 last year at Olympic so he’s had a sniff of what it takes to hold the trophy.
Just because they have well-recognized names doesn’t always mean you have to panic to fill your roster out with them…
Ian Poulter: He had a great start last week in Memphis but couldn’t get over the hump again. His last top 25 in the States was API in late March.
Jason Dufner: Again, he’s playing “ok” but not for where I have to draft him or put him in a fantasy line up. He only has four top 25s in 13 starts. I don’t think a major championship is the week where he breaks out even though he’s made 11 cuts.
Luke Donald: He’s missed four of nine cuts at the US Open including two of his last four and since 2006 his best finishes are T45 and T47.
Nick Watney: After his showing at the Memorial, this should be self-explanatory.
Y.E. Yang: Yes he defeated Tiger Woods in 2009 at Hazeltine. He’s 0-5 in his last five on TOUR.