2012 US Open ones to watch
Tiger Woods (6-1): Woods has not looked in such a strong position to win a major in a long time, after his impressive victory at the Memorial which saw him equal Jack Nicklaus' mark of 73 PGA Tour titles. He looks in ominously good shape.
His 2012 to date: Prior to the Memorial win, he came close to missing two consecutive cuts for the first time in his professional career, so clearly not all is right for the former world No.1. But there was a strong result at the Honda Classic earlier in the year.
Lee Westwood (10-1): He has had six top-three finishes in his last 10 majors, so he ought to be there or thereabouts. His one problem is that psychologically he has never won a major, and at 39 time is beginning to run out.
His 2012 to date: Westwood said "I'll tee off with a lot of confidence" after winning his last warm-up tournament, the Nordea Masters in Stockholm. He was also third at the Masters and boasts an Indonesian Masters victory.
Luke Donald (12-1): Donald plays with a calm authority, and is one of the Europeans most at ease in America.
His 2012 to date: Donald has been flipping in and out of the No.1 spot in the world rankings, losing it with a WGC Accenture Match Play Championship slump before wresting it back with a Honda Classic win in March. He has followed that up with the BMW PGA Championship title.
Rory McIlroy (12-1): McIlroy's chances depend on which Rory turns up. If it's the one that blitzed his way into the lead of the final warm-up tournament at the St Jude Classic then he could defend his title with ease. If it's the one that double bogeyed the last there then he has no chance.
His 2012 to date: He has been blowing too hot and cold to be seemingly capable of stringing together four consistent rounds this week. Saying that, he boasts an impressive win at the Honda Classic in March.
Phil Mickelson (16-1): Mickelson has a fine record at the US Open, finishing runner-up on five occasions. He should relish the fact the event is taking place pretty much in his backyard in California.
His 2012 to date: It's been a mixed season for Mickelson. At times his driving has been wayward, but his short game remains among the best in the world. But there has still been a title: the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and a third spot at the Masters.
Dustin Johnson (28-1): A month ago you would have suggested he was an absolute no hoper because of an injury which produced an enforced ten-week lay-off. But in his comeback tournament Johnson was in surprisingly good form, winning last week's St Jude Classic.
His 2012 to date: It's been pretty much non-existent because of his back injury, which meant he could only watch the Masters on television. His recent win in Memphis is the only stand-out moment of the season to date.
Justin Rose (30-1): Rose gets the least attention of the British quartet that have taken the game by storm, but he's a consistent top-10 player. A major beckons.
His 2012 to date: He has gone about his business solidly and unspectacularly, although has a big win to his name in 2012 in the form of the WGC-Cadillac Championship, in which he carded a breathtaking second round of 64, one of his best rounds in recent seasons.
Rickie Fowler (33-1): Fowler plays with a maturity beyond his 23 years. He'd be well advised not to look at his US Open previous though. He has twice missed the cut and was 60th in his only other appearance.
His 2012 to date: Fowler is in fine shape, playing some of his best golf last month. He won the Wells Fargo Championship after a sudden-death play-off with Rory McIlroy and DA Points - his first PGA Tour win - before coming second behind Matt Kuchard at the Players' Championship.
Hunter Mahan (40-1): Mahan ended the recent Memorial with a final-round 68. Admittedly he hadn't carded a par round that week, but it's an indication in his final pre-US Open round that he is peaking at the right time.
His 2012 to date: He was 12th at the Masters and has also picked up two big victories this season at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in February, and April's Houston Open.
Bubba Watson (50-1): Players talk about being able to play with a more carefree manner after winning their first major. That can either see them shine or else falter badly. Watson's big-hitting game could clearly go either way this week.
His 2012 to date: Watson was not among the players heavily fancied to win the Masters but he was a model of consistency throughout the event. Even when he began the final round three strokes off the lead and bogeyed the 12th, he still kept his cool. Four straight birdies followed and, with that, the famous green jacket.