US Open: who’s hot and who’s not for this month's showdown at Torrey Pines

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

Majors are coming thick and fast at the moment and, as the calendar flips to June, another is due later this month.

As a result of the calendar being altered last year, it means the US Open (June 17-20) will be the sixth Major to be played in the last 11 months. It'll soon be seven in 12 when Royal St. George's hosts July's Open Championship.

But the first focus is the spectacular South Course at Torrey Pines which will be staging the US Open for the first time since Tiger Woods' memorable victory there in 2008.

Patrick Reed won the regular PGA TOUR event played at Torrey Pines in January (the Farmers Insurance Open) but conditions will be different in June.

As the US Open looms, players will have just two more events - this week's Memorial Tournament and the Palmetto Championship - to hone their games.

So how are they shaping up as the clock ticks down? Planet Sport Golf looks at the form of the leading candidates:

Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm is 12/1 with bet365 to win the US Open

The Spaniard was reeling off top 10s in his sleep for the first few months of the season and just days after becoming a father for the first time he still managed to finish fast at Augusta National and bank a top five in the Masters.

Then came a wobble as he missed the cut at the Wells Fargo and tied for 34th in the Byron Nelson. But at the PGA Championship he recorded his best SG: Tee To Green numbers since February when finishing tied eighth.

The putter needs to heat up - Rahm hasn't been in the top 30 for SG: Putting in any of his last seven measured starts - but his PGA top 10 suggests he's going in the right direction again ahead of the return to Torrey Pines, the scene of his first PGA TOUR win.

Form rating: 7 out of 10

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson is 14/1 with Paddy Power to win the US Open

Johnson still tops the world rankings but his lead is dwindling. Since the end of February he's played seven times, managing just one top 25 and missing the cut at both the Masters and the PGA Championship.

This has to be a concern for DJ backers and it can't just casually be blamed on the putter. He lost strokes on Approach at Sawgrass, Hilton Head and Kiawah Island so, despite some impressive SG: Off The Tee numbers, the rest of his game just isn't sharp.

It's hard to fathom how much impact a knee injury is having but something isn't right with Johnson at the moment.

Form rating: 3 out of 10

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth is 14/1 with William Hill to win the US Open

Since missing the cut in the Farmers Insurance at Torrey Pines, Spieth has been one of the hottest golfers on the planet. He's racked up six top fours and further pair of top 10s in 11 subsequent starts.

The highlight was his victory in April's Texas Open and he so nearly made it a Lone Star State double last week when leading for most of the Charles Schwab Challenge before a sticky finish left him runner-up.

Third at the Masters, his stats have been excellent although his Approach numbers, despite still being in the positive, have dipped in the last couple of weeks.

Form rating: 9 out of 10

Bryson DeChambeau

Bryson DeChambeau is 14/1 with bet365 to win the US Open

Golf's biggest hitter wasn't exactly in the best of form when winning last year's US Open, ending his campaign with missed cut, T50 and T25 in his final three events and the latter was in a 30-man field at the Tour Championship.

And that's the case again this year. DeChambeau didn't make it out of the group stage in the WGC-Match Play and was subdued when T46 at Augusta National. He did respond with T9 at the Wells Fargo despite coming close to missing the cut but he's followed that with T55 at the Byron Nelson and T38 at the PGA Championship.

His Off The Tee numbers are holding up but he's lost a combined 5.4 strokes with the putter over his last two events.

Form rating: 6 out of 10

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy is 14/1 with bet365 to win the US Open

McIlroy had four top 16 finishes in his first five PGA TOUR starts of the calendar year but there were flaws creeping in and they were brutally exposed with missed cuts in THE PLAYERS Championship and the Masters and a group exit in the WGC-Match Play in between.

And then, as he has done throughout his career, Rory clicked again. Recording his best SG: Approach numbers for over 14 months (5.269) and best SG: Putting figures since November 2019, he powered to a brilliant win at one of his favourite courses, Quail Hollow.

A tied 49th in the PGA Championship next time out suggests Rory's big comeback isn't quite on a sure foundation just yet.

Form rating: 7 out of 10

Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas is 16/1 with Boylesports to win the US Open

Somewhat similar to McIlroy, Thomas has had one big week but not much around it. JT's clear highlight came in March's PLAYERS Championship at Sawgrass when a brilliant weekend performance saw him surge through the field and lift the trophy.

But that remains his only top 10 since early January. In his other 10 events since taking third place at the Sentry Tournament of Champions he's had three missed cuts and four other finishes outside the top 20.

His latest two performances show a missed cut in the PGA Championship and tied 40th at the Charles Schwab Challenge. His stats were modest across the board in most.

Form rating: 5 out of 10

Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka is 16/1 with bet365 to win the PGA Championship

After a hot start to 2021 with victory in Phoenix and a second at the WGC-Workday Championship, Koepka missed six weeks of action after knee surgery and it looked as if he'd returned too early. He was walking gingerly and missed the cut in his first two comeback events - the Masters and the Byron Nelson.

But Majors always get Koepka's juices flowing and he made a huge run at the PGA Championship before finishing second to an inspired Phil Mickelson.

Koepka's SG: Approach and Tee To Green numbers were excellent which was highly encouraging but his putter let him down and that's the area that has cooled off recently.

Form rating: 7 out of 10

Xander Schauffele

Xander Schauffele is 20/1 with bet365 to win the US Open

Torrey Pines is the Californian's local track and, after not getting it right for a number of years, he finished runner-up there in January and followed it with another second place in the Phoenix Open.

Three starts ago he made a late run for glory at Augusta National before finishing third and, after a break, Schauffele added tied 14th in the Wells Fargo Championship before a disappointing missed cut in the PGA.

A look through his stats shows inconsistency with minus figures popping up in each of the Strokes Gained categories at some point over his last three measured starts.

Form rating: 7 out of 10

Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa is 28/1 with Boylesports to win the US Open

Morikawa hit the heights again with some brilliant iron play the cornerstone of his victory in the WGC-Workday Championship in Florida.

Latest form shows him on a run of four straight top 20s. That includes tied seventh in the Heritage and a stout defence of the PGA Championship where he finished tied eighth. He added tied 14th in last week's Charles Schwab Challenge.

Morikawa is the easiest of the leading players to assess: his SG: Approach numbers are absolutely top notch but his putter lets him down too often. The only time in the last seven measured starts he didn't lose strokes on the green, he won the Workday.

Form rating: 8 out of 10

Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland is 30/1 with bet365 to win the US Open

The Norwegian has six top sixes to his name since January, a run started with second place at Torrey Pines. That includes two top threes in May (Valspar and Wells Fargo).

Hovland dipped a little at the PGA Championship although tied 30th was hardly a disaster and, added to tied 21st at the Masters, he's starting to lay the foundations in Majors.

In all of his top sixes, he's ranked in the top seven for SG: Tee To Green. The putter isn't on those levels but it's shown signs of improvement in the last three events.

Form rating: 8 out of 10

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