the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday - Round Three
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The 2023 U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club will be the first gathering of PGA Tour and LIV Golf stars since the sport was turned upside down with news of the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund coming together in a landmark agreement that will essentially put all major golf operations under one umbrella. That drama gets put to the side this week, however, as the on-course action returns to the spotlight with abundant storylines persisting ahead of the third major championship of the season.

The City of Angels hosts our national championship for the first time in 75 years, marking a historic yet truly rare occurrence in the game. While the setting is new and the course spectacular, the core of any great story remains the characters within. 

Plenty of main characters will be featured at the 123rd U.S. Open as Matt Fitzpatrick aims to become the first successful defender since Brooks Koepka (2017-18). Koepka, meanwhile, eyes his sixth major championship fresh off his return to glory at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club last month. Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa hope to add to their major totals and cement their legacies.

Californians Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Max Homa and Rickie Fowler are among those vying for major victory No. 1. Viktor Hovland, Tony Finau, Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton round out fan favorites in incredible form with plans of getting off the major schneid. 

Below is an all-inclusive rooting guide for the 2023 U.S. Open. Here's a look at the nine golfers who stand out the most, along their odds to win provided by Caesars Sportsbook.

One. That is the number of majors Morikawa would need to complete the career grand slam if he were to win in his native Los Angeles. It's also the number of players (McIlroy) he would be competing with to round out the major collection at Augusta National next spring. The two-time major champion's status is somewhat up in the air after he withdrew before the final round at the 2023 Memorial Tournament with back spasms. If Morikawa is 100% healthy, he should factor in as a threat. His game is ideal for the U.S. Open — pepper fairways and laser iron shots. He was the 36-hole leader at this championship last year before back tracking for a T5 result, his second straight top-five at the U.S. Open. Odds: 25-1
Eleven. That is the years that have passed since a player has won a major championship without a previous top-10 finish at one of the events. Webb Simpson's victory at the Olympic Club in 2012 should give Homa hope as he is the only player inside the top 10 of the OWGR without a top-10 finish in a major. A return to his backyard is anticipated, even more so considering he holds the course record at LACC with a sizzling 61 in the first round of the 2013 Pac-12 Tournament while starring for California. The good news for Homa is seven of the last 10 U.S. Open winners were first timers, including the last four. Odds: 16-1
Eight. That's how many years have passed since Spieth snagged the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay and went into The Open at St. Andrews with a chance at the season slam. Chambers Bay was an unorthodox U.S. Open venue. The same can be said of LACC, so it's an ideal fit for Spieth's theatrics. The three-time major champion is driving the ball brilliantly and will be able to utilize his creativity and imagination around the treacherous greens on the North Course. A win would pull him alongside McIlroy, Ernie Els and Raymond Floyd with four major championships. Odds: 25-1
Nine. It has been nine years since McIlroy raised a major trophy, but it's not for lack of trying. The four-time major champion has 18 top-10 finishes since his last triumph following his T7 effort at the PGA Championship. He arrives with strong efforts at the Memorial and the Canadian Open with four straight top-10 finishes in this championship under his belt. He would join Koepka, Seve Ballesteros, Bryon Nelson and Peter Thomson in the five-major club should he win. Odds: 11-1
Three. That is the number of legends Koepka would join by winning his sixth major championship. Phil Mickelson, Nick Faldo and Lee Trevino are at risk of being joined and potentially passed by the 33-year-old. From 2014-21, Koepka collected two trophies, three top-five finishes and no result worse than T18 in this championship alone. He remains in solid form, but for him to win major No. 6, he will have to do something he has never done before: come in cold. Koepka has played the week prior ahead of his previous major wins.  Odds: 17/2
Two. That is the number of major championships Rahm would trail his hero Ballesteros should he capture his second U.S. Open in the last three years. He became the first Spaniard to claim this trophy with his breakthrough victory at Torrey Pines in 2021, and he has eyes on adding to his total. It may not be his homeland, but California might as well be his home away from home; it has been extremely kind to the Masters champion throughout his career. In 25 California starts, Rahm has five victories, including one down the street at Riviera earlier this year. Odds: 8-1
Twenty-three. That is the number of strokes Scheffler has on the field in major championships since the start of 2020. The world No. 1 checks in at 55 under during this span, while Rahm sits at 32 under and McIlroy is 23 under. He is the only player with three top-two finishes in major championships since the start of last season -- 2022 Masters, 2022 U.S. Open and 2023 PGA Championship -- and appears on the cusp of major No. 2. Scheffler ranked second in strokes gained tee to green at Augusta National and first in strokes gained tee to green at Oak Hill, but he sits outside the top 30 on the greens. If he has a strong week on the greens, he may lap the field. Odds: 13/2
Zero. That is the number of major champions to hail from Norway. Hovland is close to changing that, and a signature win at the Memorial Tournament could be the confidence he needs to get over the hump. He stared the greatest major champion of the last decade in the eyes for 15 holes. He blinked in the final round of the 2023 PGA Championship, however, ultimately notching his third straight top-seven finish in a major championship. Hovland is among the top characters in the game and has grown into a fan favorite, but make no mistake, behind that wide smile and contagious laugh is a killer willing to thrash anyone who stands in his way. Odds: 10-1
Six. That is the number of runner-up finishes for Mickelson at the U.S. Open. Coincidentally, he would also become the sixth man to complete the career grand slam with a win at LACC at the ripe age of 54 (his birthday is Friday). Who knows what to expect from Mickelson this week? He finished runner-up at the Masters, made the cut at the PGA Championship and has finished outside the top 40 in his last two LIV Golf events. Not many expect the six-time major champion to contend, but that's usually when he does. Odds: 150-1

Who will win the U.S. Open, and which longshots will stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine to see the projected U.S. Open leaderboard, all from the model that's nailed nine golf majors, including this year's Masters.