US Open Golf Tournament 2021: Top Odds, Predictions and Storylines for Thursday

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Darron Cummings/Associated Press

First-Round Leader Comes From Spieth Group

Spieth, Scheffler and Zalatoris have an extra edge in the first and second rounds since they are used to playing with each other and should not feel too much stress.

The all-Texas threesome should ease into the tournament and they all have the potential to sit atop the leaderboard after Thursday.

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Spieth has carded a pair of first-round 63s in two of his last four starts, and he has a quartet of top-10 finishes in four of his last five tournaments. 

Scheffler started his run to a third-place finish at the Memorial with a first-round 67, and he has six opening cards in the 60s on the PGA Tour this season.

Zalatoris, who was the surprise second-place finisher at the Masters, has produced 11 rounds of 71 or better over his last three appearances. 

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If the trio uses that recent form, we should see at least one of them on top after the first 18 holes. 

      

Brooks Koepka Starts Strong

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Koepka has produced three top-two finishes since February. He carded a low early round in each of those tournaments. 

The four-time major winner opened his Waste Management Open victory with a 68, started his second-place run at the PGA Championship with a 69 and he put up a 67 on the way to second at the WGC Workday Championships. 

Koepka has an opportunity to post a low score early in Thursday’s round, as he starts in the fifth group off the 10th tee. 

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The American does not have a great record at Torrey Pines, but he did open the 2015 Farmers Insurance Open with a 66. That was the only one of his three appearances at that event in which he made the cut. 

If the Koepka we saw at Kiawah Island appears at Torrey Pines, he should be in the mix over 72 holes. 

       

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Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from PGATour.com.

       

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