US Open Leaderboard 2018: Thursday Score Updates and Tournament Predictions | Bleacher Report

Brooks Koepka drives off the 12th tee during a practice round for the U.S. Open Golf Championship, Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Southampton, N.Y. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Low scores have been hard to find during the first three hours of play at the 2018 U.S. Open.

Five players out on course at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club are under par, and there’s reason to believe the number could dwindle as the round continues.

Plenty of top golfers experienced a rough start to the second major of the season, especially the marquee group of Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth, who are a combined 14 over through their first five holes.

A steady start from Australia’s Aaron Baddeley had him in the lead to start the morning, but the names at the top of the leaderboard have fluctuated since, with the course playing tough.

          

Score Updates

Charley Hoffman (-2)*

Matthieu Pavon (-1) 

Ian Poulter (-1) 

Matt Kuchar (-1) 

Russell Knox (-1)*

*Started round on 10th hole

Full leaderboard can be found here

        

Tournament Predictions

Koepka Puts Himself In Contention To Repeat 

The U.S. Open hasn’t seen a repeat champion since Curtis Strange took back-to-back titles in 1988 and 1989. 

The last repeat champion at any of the four major tournaments was Padraig Harrington at The Open in 2007 and 2008.

SOUTHAMPTON, NY - JUNE 14:  Brooks Koepka of the United States waves after making a birdie on the first hole during the first round of the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on June 14, 2018 in Southampton, New York.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Brooks Koepka is looking to end both of those droughts at Shinnecock Hills over the next four days, and he’s off to a decent start, finding himself three shots off the lead through six holes.

Koepka began the first round better than most of the field, which is a positive sign for how he will play the rest of the competition.

While he won’t shoot a 16-under like he did a year ago at Erin Hills, Koepka will remain under par and be in the mix for his second straight U.S. Open crown Sunday.

          

Reed Enters Sunday with Chance To Win 2nd Major in a Row

Patrick Reed is looking to become the first golfer to win back-to-back majors in a season for the first time since Jordan Spieth captured The Masters and U.S. Open in 2015.

Just like Koepka, Reed is off to a decent start at Shinnecock Hills, as he sits at even par through six holes on the back nine.

Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Reed is also trying to finish in the top two of a major championship for the third straight tournament after he tied for second at the 2017 PGA Championship and won The Masters in April.

In order to come close to the lead Sunday, Reed needs to improve his career U.S. Open results, as he hasn’t finished inside the top 10 in four starts.

With six top-10 finishes this season, Reed is playing with plenty of confidence, which means he might make a few risks other players aren’t willing to take on the difficult course at Shinnecock.

Barring an uncharacteristically poor round, Reed should be in the mix for his second major title in three months Sunday.

                 

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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