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U.S. Open 2012 Field: Previewing The 112th Championship

The best players in golf will converge on the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California over the next week, as last year's champ Rory McIlroy tries to defend his crown at the 112th annual U.S. Open Championship.

This year will mark the fifth time the tournament will be held at the 7,170-yard, par-70 course, as the private social club last hosted an Open in 1998. A number of players with local ties will also be in the field as expected, as Jason Dufner, Jim Herman, Joe Ogilvie, Jason Day, and Dennis Miller will each try to bring a title back home to the state of Ohio.

Dufner and Day, arguably the top talents of the local bunch, will join Louis Oosthuizen in a three-man group for both Thursday and Friday's rounds. The three will tee off at 4:47 pm ET and begin on the ninth tee for the opening 18 holes, and then get underway at 11:32 am ET the following morning.

In addition to the Day-Dufner-Oosthuizen group, the golf world is already abuzz over the Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Bubba Watson combination also set for Thursday and Friday. After Woods' impressive performance at the Memorial last week, there are many who feel he is poised for another run at a major championship. But to pull that off , however, he will need to first deal with the rigors that come with playing in a group with two of his most talented adversaries right off the bat.

For more 2012 US Open coverage, stay with SB Nation Cleveland's StoryStream. For more coverage, head over to USOpen.com

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.