PGA Championship: who’s hot and who’s not for May's Major at Kiawah Island

The second Major of 2021 takes place later this month but how are the leading candidates shaping up ahead of the trip to South Carolina?

With the calendar being flipped over to May it means we're now in the month of the year's second Major.

It's still a little odd to think of the PGA Championship being played so soon in the year having been the long-established final major of the season.

The tournament moved from August to May in 2019 with Brooks Koepka winning for the second straight year. But, due to COVID rescheduling, the PGA returned to August last year.

However, with the golf calendar back on track, it's all set for a second May appearance when Kiawah Island plays host from the 20th to the 23rd.

After this week's Wells Fargo Championship, there will be just one more tournament - the AT&T Byron Nelson in Texas - before the action gets underway at Kiawah.

With the event looming, Planet Sport Golf looks at how the leading candidates are shaping up.

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson is 12/1 with Sky Bet to win the PGA Championship

Before DJ won the 2020 Masters, his form running up to that event read 12-1-2-3-6-2. He'd basically telegraphed the win; Johnson was in fantastic form. Currently, his last six results read 54-48-28-MC-13-48. He's driven the ball well in his latest two events but everything else looks a little off, especially his work around the greens. The American is still World No.1 but he certainly isn't playing like it.

Form rating: 5 out of 10

Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm is 14/1 with bet365 to win the PGA Championship

The Spaniard looks to be peaking nicely for the year's second Major. After a modest T32 at the WGC-Workday Championship, he was tied ninth at THE PLAYERS Championship before making the last eight of the WGC-World Match Play for an official finish of fifth. Rahm then welcomed his first baby into the world before powering through the field on the final day to take fifth at The Masters after a closing 66. He'll look to continue that forward progression at Quail Hollow this week.

Form rating: 8 out of 10

Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau is 14/1 with Paddy Power to win the PGA Championship

Golf's biggest hitter had a superb first half of March after taking victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill before following it up with a third in THE PLAYERS at Sawgrass. Those performances nudged him up from 11th to 6th in the world rankings although he's cooled off a little after T42 in the WGC-Match Play and a disappointing T46 at Augusta National, a course he hasn't yet worked out. DeChambeau pegs it up in this week's Wells Fargo.

Form rating: 7 out of 10

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas is 14/1 with Sky Bet to win the PGA Championship

Thomas came with a stunning weekend surge to win THE PLAYERS Championship at Sawgrass but that remains his only top 10 since his third place in the 2021 opener in Hawaii. He was in great position after two rounds of the Masters before a hugely disappointing weekend left him T21. He started the rebuild with T13 in last week's Valspar Championship and will look to kick on again in this week's Wells Fargo at Quail Hollow, the place where he won the 2017 PGA.

Form rating: 7 out of 10

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth is 16/1 with William Hill to win the PGA Championship

After dropping hints that another win was imminent with top fours in Phoenix, Pebble Beach and Bay Hill, Spieth ended the drought with a dominant and clinical victory in the Texas Open: he was top six for SG: Approach, Around The Green, Tee To Green and Putting. That sent him off to Augusta as one of the favourites and, although his bid for a second Green Jacket came up short, a third place continued his resurgence. One of the hottest players in golf right now.

Form rating: 9 out of 10

Xander Schauffele

Xander Schauffele is 16/1 with Paddy Power to win the PGA Championship

While no-one could stop Hideki Matsuyama at Augusta National, Schauffele put the most pressure on the Japanese after a back-nine surge before finishing third. That followed T18 at the WGC-Match Play and, prior to that, MC at Sawgrass so Schauffele is trending in the right direction as he looks to stay hot in the Wells Fargo this week. Earlier this season he had back-to-back second places at Torrey Pines and in Phoenix.

Form rating: 7 out of 10

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy is 18/1 with bet365 to win the PGA Championship

Rory had four top 16 finishes in his first five PGA TOUR starts of the calendar year. Even then, something didn't seem right and the flaws have since been brutally exposed after missed cuts in THE PLAYERS Championship and the Masters and a group exit in the WGC-Match Play in between. His round scores at Sawgrass/Augusta: 79-75-76-74. Rory has a chance to regain some confidence at Quail Hollow - a place where he's won twice - but of all the top stars he's the one struggling most.

Form rating: 3 out of 10

Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka is 22/1 with Sky Bet to win the PGA Championship

Koepka won back-to-back PGA Championships in 2018 and 2019 to take his tally of Major wins to four having started 2017 with none. His form in February was red hot after a win in the Phoenix Open and a second at the WGC-Workday Championship but he underwent surgery on his right knee in March. It means he's played just once since late February, missing the cut at the Masters after rounds of 74 and 75. Although he has a second on his penultimate start, it's hard to give him much of a current form rating due to the lack of golf.

Form rating: 5 out of 10

Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa is 25/1 with Paddy Power to win the PGA Championship

The defending champion showed nerves of steel to capture the 2020 edition in his home state of California last August. Morikawa added another victory in February's WGC-Workday Championship and, after a decent tied 18th on his second start at Augusta National, he ranked 2nd for Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (11.556) when taking seventh in the RBC Heritage a week later. His game is building nicely.

Form rating: 7 out of 10

Hideki Matsyama

Hideki Matsuyama is 25/1 with Paddy Power to win the PGA Championship

The Masters hero returned home after becoming the first Japanese male to win a Major. Not surprisingly, it's been a bit of a whirlwind as he's paraded the Green Jacket and been handed the Prime Minister's Award from Japan's PM, Yoshihide Suga. Before his glorious Augusta peak, Matsuyama actually hadn't managed a top 10 since November but clearly he has to score highly in the form rating category.

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Form rating: 9 out of 10

READ MORE: Can Quail Hollow work its magic on Rory McIlroy again and revive his flagging form?