2013 U.S. Open predictions: Who are the experts picking at Merion?

Scott Halleran

Tiger Woods remains the betting favorite to win the 2013 U.S. Open, but who are the experts picking? We rounded up the picks prior to Thursday's first round.

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.

Expert Prediction
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.

More golf from SB Nation:

Masters champ aims for back-to-back

Helicopters couldn’t dry Merion

A guide to the East Course at Merion Golf Club

Rory likes ‘em slow

Tee times for the first two rounds

How’d they all get to Merion?

Four Days in Fort Worth: Putting on a PGA Tour event

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