At the U.S. Open, the defense rests

Cabrera_200 Predicting who will win the U.S. Open is a futile task, but it doesn’t take a crystal ball to forecast how the defending champion will play. 
Since Curtis Strange defended his Open title back in 1989, five defending champions — Tom Kite, Lee Janzen, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Michael Campbell — have missed the cut at the following Open, none have finished in the top 10, and one, Payne Stewart, tragically didn’t even get a chance to defend.
The latest apparent victim: Argentine Angel Cabrera, the ’07 champ. The husky Argentine shot an eight-over 79, posting a front-nine 43 as ESPN was airing a tribute to his career.
(Photo: Chris O'Meara/AP)

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by Kevin Cunningham