Justin Leonard could well contend. Or miss the cut. Same for Ernie.
David Duval could well make a run, but one would be incredibly surprised if he missed the cut.
In any event, who are the most interesting figures coming in not named Tiger?
Start with Phil Mickelson. He began the season cashing a nearly half million dollar, preseason bet on the Baltimore Ravens winning the Super Bowl. He gambled and lost with driver off the deck at Pebble. Threw a six to beat Frank Lickliters seven at San Diego. He thereafter tried and failed at Bay Hill, Bellsouth, Augusta, New Orleans and Colonial. The latter three were most disappointing and perhaps a little disturbing for the manner in which Lefty came unglued. But if its true that hes consistently falling short, its also true that hes consistently contending. Hes probably the only challenger about whom you could say that.
We could go on with others players. And its never terribly dull musing over potential longshots and challengers. But until one not named Tiger proves he can carry the day, we dont hold out much hope that all of this discussion is but idle talk or printed words filling space.