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U.S. Open chances: Will Lee Westwood finally claim his major?

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This week before the U.S. Open tees off, we'll be sizing up the chances of many of golf's top players. We start with one of England's best shots at the U.S. Open crown.

Lee Westwood

Current world ranking: 2

So far this year: It's been a strange year for Westwood, who has played well at times but hasn't really been as dominant as he has the last couple of seasons. The good news for Westwood is he won in early May at the Ballantine's Championship. The bad news is he had a good shot at the BMW Championship, but lost in a playoff to Luke Donald. Westwood hasn't finished out of the top 30 in any event on the PGA Tour in 2011.

Record at the U.S. Open: He hasn't had a ton of chances to win here, with his best coming in 2008 when he finished in third alone, missing out on the Tiger Woods-Rocco Mediate playoff by a shot.

Why he could win: Because he's one of the few people that have the entire package, and if anyone is due to win a major for all the near-misses they've had, it's Westwood. He will need to get the ball in the hole a little better than he has this season if he wants to win, but it seems when the course gets tough, Westwood flourishes.

Why he could fall short: Because he's Lee Westwood, and falling short seems like one of his greatest talents. If you just look back at the BMW Championship, you know what I'm talking about; a near drive out of play on the first playoff hole, followed by a wedge that spun back in the lake, it seems when the pressure cooker is on, Westwood falls apart like LeBron James in the Finals.

Our take: I like Westwood, and I like his game, but I don't see him winning here. He's only claimed two PGA Tour titles in his career, and one came after a guy triple-bogeyed the final hole for a playoff, so it isn't like he's great at closing on American soil. He will finish in the top 15, but that'll be about it.

Your turn, folks. Is Westwood a good pick, or will it be another disappointing week for Lee?

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