2023 U.S. Open First Look: Odds, Picks for Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth, Tyrrell Hatton

2023 U.S. Open First Look: Odds, Picks for Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth, Tyrrell Hatton article feature image

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Scottie Scheffler.

The RBC Canadian Open concluded in a way that was indicative of the entire week on the PGA Tour.

Nick Taylor closed out a four-hole playoff by making the longest putt of his career (72 feet), but that wasn't even the craziest thing to happen on the green. His friend and fellow golfer, Adam Hadwin, came in to celebrate, only to be laid out by a security guard. It was a wild scene after a crazy week on Tour dominated by news of the merger with LIV Golf.

Now, we head into the third major of the year at the U.S. Open from Los Angeles Country Club. This is by all accounts a fantastic venue, and recent photos show it is set up in typical fashion for the National Championship as the USGA has it ready to play tough.

This will be the first time LACC has hosted the U.S. Open, and it will be the first USGA event on the course since the 2017 Walker Cup. Collin Morikawa was one of the stars that week, and another local, Max Homa, holds the course record (61).

I expect this to be a very different course from the one they've played so many times, as it will be stretched out to 7,421 yards, even with five par 3s and playing to just a par 70. It will be a beast even as the many elevation changes affect those distances, as noted by two par threes measuring 284 and 290 yards, respectively.

It's impossible for me to ignore the length on this course, along with the long rough. I'll have a keen target on the longer hitters, as they will have an edge even if they have to play from the rough more often.

We will also see the champion tested in all aspects of his game tee to green, which leads me to narrowing in mostly on the top players in the world.

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First Look

Scottie Scheffler +750

I'm caught here and haven't fully made a decision as of Sunday night. I'm not one who generally takes the top guy on the board — or even the next two or three — but I am heavily considering Scottie Scheffler.

While he hasn't won since The Players in March, the man has been nothing short of a machine. He has not finished outside of the top 12 in any tournament since the CJ Cup in October. He is always, and I mean always, in the mix — if he can just find something on the greens, he could win going away.

My real conundrum is that I will likely need to go all in on Scheffler to take him at this short number and essentially fire it as a single bullet. He's the only player I would consider going to that length with, but with his combination of recent play (over the last eight months) and knowledge of the course from the 2017 Walker Cup, he's got a leg up on the field that I'm not even sure he needs.

Scheffler is my lean as my top play. It may be a spot where I simply stand with him and hope the best player comes out on top.

Jordan Spieth +3200

If I decide to pass on Scheffler, I will drop down into the players in the range of +2000 and +4000.

Jordan Spieth has caught my eye as he seems to have found something off the tee over the past few tournaments. He gained 5.7 shots on the field with his driving at the PGA Championship and 4.3 more at The Memorial. Both of those tracks are big-boy courses.

When Spieth keeps pace off the tee, he is always a threat to contend for a win because we know his play on approach and short game will show up.

These numbers show he is past any lingering effects from his prior wrist injury, and the way he has competed on these long courses has me thinking he may be ready to join the mix.

Tyrrell Hatton +4000

Players like Spieth and Tyrrell Hatton have me hesitating on my play on Scheffler. They are two examples of players who have displayed fantastic form — it wouldn't shock anyone if one of them triumphed.

Hatton hasn't finished outside of the top 20 in any of his last six tournaments. He added another top five to that list with his T3 at the RBC Canadian Open. He's one of those players who seems to step up in tough conditions, and he has the short game to contend on this type of course.

The biggest thing that has separated the Englishman of late has been his ball striking — he's been really sharp off the tee and has matched it with great iron play outside of The Memorial.

I'm in on Hatton at this number given his form and a play style that matches the venue at LACC.

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