As the 2012 U.S. Open kicks off today after multiple practice rounds all week, the experts' favorite typically comes out as Tiger Woods despite a few guesses to the contrary. While Jason Dufner or Zach Johnson can earn a few votes, ESPN's voters predicted Tiger would win another major and continue his recent hot streak as he works back to the form that made him the greatest golfer of all-time.
Farrell Evans wrote, "Unless the old Hank Haney swing creeps back into his head, the 14-time major champion shouldn't have any problem winning his fourth U.S. Open. He was going through a complete swing overhaul when he played here in 1998, but he still finished in a tie for 18th. Two of his three U.S. Open wins have come in his home state of California."
Ian O'Connor agreed with him and said, "Favorites usually don't win at Olympic, but Tiger isn't your average everyday favorite. He's hot, confident and, when healthy, still better than everyone else."
Woods has won the U.S. Open on three separate occasions, the last coming in 2008. It's been that sort of long cold streak for Woods as he's remained in the public eye for less than impressive reasons. Yet 2012 has brought a resurgence for Tiger, and the Open will receive an upswing in attention due to Tiger's presence and success.
The U.S. Open is the major that Tiger has won most recently so perhaps it will be here that reconnects once again to glory on the highest level. That's what most are predicting, so it will be an interesting four days to follow.