After their "rousing" success at the Masters (Luke broke even, Alex lost $25), and their tumble back to earth at the Players (Luke and Alex both lost $20 each) the two GolfDigest.com editors decided to give it another go at the 2014 U.S. Open. They allocated themselves $25 each to make five $5 bets. Here's who they opted for:
Luke Kerr-Dineen____: Sergio Garcia, 33/1
It's easy to forget that Garcia is still only 34. It's also being overlooked that Garcia played 64 holes at Merion last year in one under (don't ask about how he played 14 and 15 all week), and that he's one of just four PGA Tour players in the top 50 of greens in regulation, scrambling and strokes gained/putting. His lingering knee injury is a slight concern, but at 33/1, it's worth the risk.
Alex Myers____: Matt Kuchar, 25/1
Even in arguably his most disappointing finish, a T-5 at this year's Masters after grabbing a share of the lead on Sunday, I saw a tremendous short game that should give Kuchar a huge edge at Pinehurst.
Luke: Jason Dufner, 40/1
The Dufman has finished T-4 in his last two U.S. Opens, and is finally starting to show some form after a slow start this year. There's potential for his strategy to backfire, but Dufner said earlier in the week that he'll hit lots of drivers at Pinehurst -- just like at the 2013 PGA Championship.
Alex: Jim Furyk, 40/1
There might not be a golfer who relishes the challenge of the U.S. Open more. There also might not be a golfer who's had a better spring than the 43-year-old, who had back-to-back runner-ups at the Wells Fargo and Players. We'll keep the short-game emphasis going with The Grinder, currently first on tour in scrambling.
Luke: Ryan Moore, 100/1
Who would have predicted Michael Campbell in 2005? You've got to throw one outsider in there, so I'll go with Ryan Moore. I like Moore for a bunch of reasons, and he played well at the British Open last year on a dry Muirfield course. Barring a downpour of rain, that could prove a good indicator for Pinehurst.
Alex: Kevin Na, 100/1
Furyk leads the PGA Tour in scrambling in 2014, but Na is No. 2. And his 2nd-place finish at the Memorial, in which he lost in a playoff to Hideki Matsuyama, indicates that all parts of his game are clicking as well as they ever have.
__Luke: Low European - Victor Dubuisson, 22/1A guy I work with, Stephen Hennessey, seems to really like him, so that's the real reason behind my decision. Outside of that, Dubuisson is a young player with lots of potential -- guys like that tend to get hot at U.S. Opens.
Alex: Top Irish Player - Darren Clarke, 33/1Clarke has been dreadful since winning the 2011 British Open. So why would I ever make this bet? Because he only has to beat three other players (Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, and Shane Lowry) to win.
SPECIAL WORLD CUP/U.S. OPEN COMBO BET
Luke: England/Westwood, 942/1
Alex: Spain/Garcia, 237/1
And for those in Yahoo! fantasy golf leagues, here's Alex's weekly lineup:
Starters: Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson, Jim Furyk, and Sergio Garcia.__
__Bench: Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, and Graeme McDowell. Knockout/One-and-done pick: Matt Kuchar.