2023 U.S. Open PrizePicks: Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay Among First-Round Plays

2023 U.S. Open PrizePicks: Scottie Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay Among First-Round Plays article feature image

Pictured: Scottie Scheffler. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

With the RBC Canadian Open in the rear-view mirror, we move on to this week’s U.S. Open. The third major of the season is set to take place at Los Angeles Country Club (North Course).

LACC is a par-70, 7,421-yard track designed by George C. Thomas Jr. with Bermudagrass and greens.

Below, I give out my four Round 1 PrizePicks plays for the 2023 U.S. Open.

U.S. Open Round 1 PrizePicks Plays

Scottie Scheffler: Round 1 Less Than 69.5 Strokes

Scottie Scheffler, the favorite to win this tournament, heads to LACC as the top-ranked golfer in the world. Scheffler is in fantastic form and if it weren't for an inconsistent putter, he'd potentially be setting records for his play this season.

Not only has he made each of his past 15 cuts, he's also finished inside the top 12 in all 15 of those events. Additionally, he's finished inside the top 10 in seven of his past nine major appearances.

Scheffler has shot a 69 or lower in 14 of his past 20 rounds. Many are predicting LACC to play extremely difficult, but I think that's a slight overreaction.

Yes, in typical U.S. Open, the rough is going to be a beast. However, the fairways are wide and the greens are receptive. I think this course will score easier than Oak Hill did at the PGA Championship.

At that tournament, Scheffler shot a 68 or lower in three of four rounds and finished T2.

Patrick Cantlay: Round 1 Less Than 70.5 Strokes

Patrick Cantlay is one of the few in the field who has played LACC numerous times as he was born in Long Beach and played golf at UCLA. He also enters this tournament in tremendous form.

This season, he has made 13 of 14 cuts and boasts seven top-10 finishes. Like Scheffler, Cantlay has no issue elevating his game when going against the best in the world and has finished inside the top 15 in each of his past four major championships.

Cantlay has shot a 70 or lower in 13 of his past 20 rounds.

Brooks Koepka: Round 1 Less Than 70 Strokes

Brooks Koepka, during his press conferences, said he could have an advantage this week as he'll be focused on winning back-to-back major championships while others are worried about the PGA/LIV "merger". I don't think the off-course drama will be as significant once everyone tees off, but I do agree with Koepka suggesting he's a massive threat to win.

Koepka continues to cement his status as one of the all-time great major champions. His fifth major victory at the PGA Championship puts him in some elite company alongside golf's all-time greats.

Even when he isn't winning majors, Koepka routinely finishes near the top of the leaderboard. In fact, prior to winning this year's PGA Championship, he finished runner-up at the Masters Tournament.

Not only has he made the cut in 30 of his past 33 majors, but he boasts 18 top-10 finishes — including five victories — over that stretch. Koepka has shot lower than 70 in five of his eight major championship rounds this year.

Tony Finau: Round 1 More Than 71 Strokes

Tony Finau boasts two wins this season, but there isn't much reason to be optimistic about a strong performance this week. He is coming off a missed cut at the Charles Schwab Challenge and finished 72nd the week prior.

In fact, Finau hasn't finished better than T15 in any of his past eight major championships. Not only did he shoot higher than a 71 in each of his four rounds at Oak Hill, but he has shot that number or higher in six of his past 10 rounds.

We could see yet another slow start at LACC.

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