When Tiger Woods is playing well, he's typically the first name people mention when predicting a winner. Woods is once again the No. 1 player in the world and the betting favorite to win the 2013 U.S. Open, but he's not a runaway favorite, according to the experts.
There was a time when it was not only rare to find an expert not picking Woods, but some would pick him over the entire field heading into a major tournament. Woods is once again the favorite, but only narrowly. Here's a compilation of expert picks from ESPN.com, PGATour.com, Golfweek.com and CBSSports.com.
|Rob Bolton, PGATour.com||Graeme McDowell|
|Mike McAllister, PGATour.com||Graeme McDowell|
|Chris Dunham, PGATour.com||Jason Day|
|Ryan Smithson, PGATour.com||Phil Mickelson|
|Bill Cooney, PGATour.com||Graeme McDowell|
|John Schwarb, PGATour.com||Graeme McDowell|
|Helen Ross, PGATour.com||Graeme McDowell|
|Anne Detlefsen, PGATour.com||Tiger Woods|
|Amanda Balionis, PGATour.com||Phil Mickelson|
|Brian Wacker, PGATour.com||Tiger Woods|
|Bryan Mullen, PGATour.com||Brandt Snedeker|
|John Swantek, PGATour.com||Matt Kuchar|
|Sean Martin, PGATour.com||Tiger Woods|
|Jeff Babineau, Golfweek.com||Graeme McDowell|
|Jeff Rude, Golfweek.com||Phil Mickelson|
|Jim McCabe, Golfweek.com||Graeme McDowell|
|Bradley, S. Klein, Golfweek.com||Tiger Woods|
|David Dusek, Golfweek.com||Tiger Woods|
|Adam Schupak, Golfweek.com||Steve Stricker|
|Nick Masuda, Golfweek.com||Tiger Woods|
|Farrell Evans, ESPN.com||Tiger Woods|
|Bob Harig, ESPN.com||Graeme McDowell|
|Ian O'Connor, ESPN.com||Tiger Woods|
|Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com||Tiger Woods|
|Kyle Porter, CBSSports.com||Brandt Snedeker|
Of the 25 experts, nine picked Woods, eight picked Graeme McDowell, three picked Phil Mickelson and two picked Brandt Snedeker. Jason Day, Matt Kuchar and Steve Stricker were picked once each. McDowell won the 2010 U.S. Open and has played well this season, moving up to No. 8 in the world rankings.
While he was picked by just one expert, Kuchar would be my pick to win this week. He's having his best season on Tour and is coming off an impressive win at the Memorial. Kuchar is yet to miss a cut this season, vaulted up to No. 4 in the world and is arguably the second-best American player in the world. Kuchar has never won a major, but has won tournaments with major-like fields, including the 2012 Players Championship. He's been as steady as they come this season, and this week could be when he finally breaks through in a major.