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Five (others) to watch at the U.S. Open

GOLF

Most eyes will be on Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson. Here are some other possible contenders.

June 18, 2009|Teddy Greenstein

Tiger and Phil. Phil and Tiger.

They will command our attention, but they won't be the only ones. Here are five more to watch from the U.S. Open's 156-player field:

Kenny Perry

A bogey-bogey finish in regulation cost him the Masters, but Perry says he felt like a champion after receiving 800 sympathy cards and letters of inspiration. The patriotic Perry built a public golf course in Franklin, Ky., and chose a Ryder Cup run over the British Open last year, so a U.S. Open triumph could trump a victory at Augusta.

Rocco Mediate

He had the audacity to wear Tiger red during last year's Open playoff at Torrey Pines and the good humor to point out it was his only clean shirt. After taming Woods for 90 holes, he lost in golf's equivalent of double overtime. Mediate hasn't won a tournament since '02, but why spoil a good story line?

Sergio Garcia

He'll be remembered for being heckled -- "Hit it, Sergio!" -- as he re-gripped and waggled incessantly at the 2002 Open at Bethpage Black. But Garcia did finish fourth and claims the experience toughened him. "New York has been great to me," he said in '04. Just in case flattery doesn't work, Garcia might want to wear a Mets cap.

Angel Cabrera

and Henrik Stenson

These oft-overlooked foreigners captured golf's two biggest prizes of '09, the Masters and Players Championship. No reason to think these big, strong hitters will wilt in a New York minute.

--

tgreenstein@tribune.com

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