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Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods and the leading contenders to win the 2019 US Open

Pebble Beach in California hosts the 119th US Open, with the world's best golfers teeing off on Thursday

Brooks Koepka is aiming to become the first player since 1905 to win three successive US Open titles. AP
Brooks Koepka is aiming to become the first player since 1905 to win three successive US Open titles. AP

The 119th US Open tees off on Thursday, with a number of golf’s leading lights primed for glory. We look at five of the main contenders to land the year’s third major at Pebble Beach.

Brooks Koepka

The reigning double US Open champion is looking to become only the second man (and first since 1905) to lift the trophy in three successive years. The current world No 1, Koepka won the PGA Championship last month to claim a fourth major in 23 months – a remarkable run.

Was runner-up at the US Masters in April, too, as well as second at the Honda Classic and fourth at the Byron Nelson. The American patently likes the course, having finished tied-8th at 2016 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am.

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson has an impressive record at Pebble Beach. AP
Dustin Johnson has an impressive record at Pebble Beach. AP

The 2016 US Open champion is second only to buddy Koepka in the current world rankings, and returns to a course on which he has plenty of history. The last time the US Open was played at Pebble Beach, in 2010, Johnson held the 54-hole lead (by three strokes) before wobbling badly to finish tied-8th.

Has twice won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am – 2009 and 2010 – finished runner-up two times and third once. Runner-up at both majors this year, and has two victories in 2019 already.

Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods triumphed by 15 shots at Pebble Beach in 2000 – the greatest margin of victory in major history. AP
Tiger Woods triumphed by 15 shots at Pebble Beach in 2000 – the greatest margin of victory in major history. AP

The headline-magnet American provided the storyline of the season thus far by winning the Masters in April – his first major in almost 11 years and 15th overall. Woods boasts serious pedigree around Pebble Beach, too, where his 15-shot triumph in 2000 remains the greatest margin of victory in major history.

Also secured the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am that year, while he came home tied-fourth at the US Open there in 2010. Missed the cut at last month's PGA Championship, but rallied with a tied-ninth at the Memorial.

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy won the Canadian Open by seven shots in the build-up to the US Open. AP
Rory McIlroy won the Canadian Open by seven shots in the build-up to the US Open. AP

The four-time major champion hasn’t snared one of the game’s big four since the 2014 PGA Championship, but arrives in sparkling form having won the Canadian Open on Sunday by seven shots – his second victory of the season.

McIlroy hasn’t always fared well at Pebble, though, missing the cut at both the 2010 US Open and at last year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. The Northern Irishman clinched the 2011 US Open by eight shots, but has missed the cut in his past three appearances at the tournament.

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth has enjoyed a return to form in recent weeks. AP
Jordan Spieth has enjoyed a return to form in recent weeks. AP

The three-time major champion is finally displaying signs of a comeback having suffered a serious loss of form. In fact, Spieth hasn’t won since the 2017 British Open.

However, the American has put together three consecutive top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour since the end of the 2017 campaign, while he did win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am that year – and has three other top 10s there. Has a US Open already under his belt, winning the 2015 tournament at Chambers Bay.

Updated: June 12, 2019 10:57 AM

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