Expert picks: U.S. Open

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Phil Mickelson received some votes from our experts to win the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club.
June 11, 2013

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Expert picks: U.S. Open
Fantasy selections
Projected champion
Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell,
Charl Schwartzel, Tiger Woods
Graeme McDowell
Putting the picks where my mouth is – these represent the top four in my Power Rankings – but they also reflect a sound strategy on a tight track unfamiliar to most.
Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell,
Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods
Graeme McDowell
G-Mac and the U.S. Open appear headed for a long, successful run. He already has one win, could've (should've?) won another last year and appears to be in solid form entering this week.
Jason Day, Ernie Els,
Hunter Mahan, Graeme McDowell
Jason Day
How'd the last guy we saw throw away a Masters on Sunday (Rory McIlroy, 2011) fare in his next major start? Day was the runner-up at that U.S. Open after also contending at Augusta. I said it at THE PLAYERS and I'll say it again: Day is going to earn a huge victory, and soon. He ranks 19th on TOUR in strokes gained-putting and 12th in the all-around. If he keeps his tee shots in play, look for his name in the mix on Sunday.
Graeme McDowell, Phil Mickelson,
Ryan Moore, Tiger Woods

Phil Mickelson
I have seven starts left for Tiger, so this is a no-brainer. Ryan Moore's U.S. Open record, and penchant for accuracy, makes him a good sleeper. With the wet weather, I think this is Phil's week. Think Bethpage.
Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar,
Graeme McDowell, Tiger Woods
Graeme McDowell
Kuchar will win a major at some point, but this week I'm going with McDowell, a man with remarkable accuracy off the tee (1st in driving accuracy at 71.10 percent), strong putting skills (13th in strokes gained), and a knack for getting up and down around the greens (1st in scrambling). McDowell, who won in 2010 at Pebble Beach, could become the 22nd player to win multiple U.S. Opens.
Graeme McDowell, Adam Scott,
Webb Simpson, Tiger Woods
Graeme McDowell
McDowell has had an odd pattern of win-missed cut-win-missed cut around the world. The pattern now says win, and this is a course where he will have the required patience.
Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell,
Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods
Graeme McDowell
My sentimental pick is Mickelson, particularly after his turnaround at TPC Southwind last weekend. But this U.S. Open may belong to Graeme McDowell, the 2010 champ who beat the 2012 champ, Webb Simpson, in a playoff at the RBC Heritage earlier this year.
Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar,
Adam Scott, Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods didn't look great on the greens in his last start at the Memorial, but I can't not pick him this week. He'll be back on track this week and in major form.
Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson,
Brandt Snedeker, Tiger Woods
Phil Mickelson
With 5 runner-up finishes at this event, no one wants this victory more than the World Golf Hall of Famer. He also was dialed in on the weekend in Memphis, proving his game is where it needs to be to win for the second time this season.
Matt Kuchar, Graeme McDowell,
Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods
Woods has played too well in the big events not to perform at Merion, where the length of his 3-wood and 5-wood will be huge factors on a golf course that will demand accuracy off the tee -- especially given wet, thick rough. If he putts well, he wins.
Angel Cabrera, Graeme McDowell,
Brandt Snedeker, Tiger Woods
Brandt Snedeker
He missed the cut last week, but Snedeker has shown the ability to bounce back strong. His short game is still among the world's best, and he will be on even ground with the long hitters due to Merion's shorter layout.
Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson,
Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods
Matt Kuchar
The progression of significant victories continues, following a FedExCup playoff event, THE PLAYERS, and a World Golf Championship. The career defining achievement comes this week.
Graeme McDowell, Webb Simpson,
Michael Thompson, Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods
Hard to pick against Tiger Woods. His performance at Muirfield Village aside, he's the best player in the game right now.

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Of the 772 teams currently in the league, bodeeagles currently leads with 7,820 points. Here's where our experts rank after the FedEx St. Jude Classic:

Rank Expert Team name Points
ROB BOLTON, Fantasy Insider @RobBoltonGolf 6,157
163 MIKE McALLISTER, Managing Editor Mike McAllister 5,352
278 HELEN ROSS, Chief of Correspondents Helen Ross
JOHN SCHWARB, Site Prodicer John Schwarb
CHRIS DUNHAM, Site Producer
@ChrisDunhamJr 4,696
BILL COONEY, Site Producer @BillCooney4653 4,426
391 ANNE DETLEFSEN, Site Producer Anne Detlefsen 4,174
RYAN SMITHSON, Site Producer Ryan Smithson 4,089
540 BRIAN WACKER, Site Producer @pgatour_brianw 2,735
561 BRYAN MULLEN, Site Producer* Bryan Mullen 2,525
567 AMANDA BALIONIS, Host, PGA TOUR Today Balionis 2,425
603 JOHN SWANTEK, Host, On the Tee Swan Tech 1,952
SEAN MARTIN, Events Editor* @pgatoursmartin 1,288
* Joining the panel a little late