Collin Morikawa Descends Then Climbs the US Open Leaderboard

BROOKLINE, Mass. – Midway by the US Open, Collin Morikawa stood atop the leaderboard wanting so as to add a 3rd main championship to his résumé.

But on shifting day, as Saturdays are referred to as on the PGA Tour, Morikawa uncharacteristically went backward. After a seven-over-par 77, Morikawa discovered himself six photographs off the tempo when he teed off on Sunday. It proved to be too nice a deficit to beat to maneuver again into competition, however he walked off the course at the Country Club greater than glad, having improved his rating by 11 photographs from the earlier spherical.

“I do not know if I discovered one thing,” he mentioned after his 66 moved him to 2 below par and right into a tie for the fifth. “I believe it simply taught me that I have to go play golf. This yr has been so targeted on making an attempt to hit that minimize and making an attempt to be so good, and that is who I’m. But simply exit and play. Things are going to be robust. The ball isn’t going to go the place you need. But simply determine it out. ”

Morikawa, the defending British Open champion and the 2020 PGA Championship winner, performed a bogey-free again 9 in dank, cool situations. He got here to the 18th inexperienced figuring he wanted to make a birdie to have any likelihood. But his putt got here up a foot brief.

“I had some momentum, sort of carrying on,” mentioned Morikawa, who shot a 32, three below par, on the again 9. “If I may have gotten to 4, that might be a pleasant quantity to put up. It was nonetheless a number of brief, but it surely was a much-needed spherical. ”

Morikawa shot 66 on Friday, rising as a co-leader, with Joel Dahmen, after two rounds. Then got here the catastrophe on Saturday, when his spherical featured 4 bogeys, two double-bogeys and only one birdie.

He had mentioned earlier than the match that he was struggling together with his iron play. He usually performs a left-to-right minimize shot, however recently the ball had been going right-to-left, he mentioned. But Morikawa had little bother the first two days.

“With the method I used to be enjoying, I did not see that coming,” he mentioned.

He added: “I hope many seven-overs aren’t coming in the future. But it simply sort of made me refocus and sort of simply get again into issues. Just get it off the tee, onto the fairway, after which fear about it from there. ”

Morikawa referred to as Sunday’s spherical “an enormous increase” and mentioned he would bear in mind the weekend extra for his three sub-70 scores than the Saturday meltdown. Before the third spherical, his worst rating in a US Open had are available 2020 at Winged Foot in New York, the place he opened with a 76 and missed the minimize.

Last yr, he completed in a tie for the fourth time at Torrey Pines close to San Diego. He then went on to win his second main, besting Jordan Spieth by two strokes at Royal St. George’s.

As was the case final yr, Morikawa mentioned he deliberate to play the Scottish Open to tune up for this yr’s British Open at St. Andrews, a course he mentioned he had not but performed. But he mentioned he understood it might be lots completely different for him this time round for 2 causes: his standing as the reigning champion and the venue, the historic Old Course.

“I believe I’m going to must do a very good job prioritizing each single day and splitting up what I have to deal with,” he mentioned. “Whether it’s the golf course or whether or not I simply have to get pleasure from simply being there at St. Andrews, again as the defending champion. ”

He added, “There’s going to be a pair extra distractions, however that does not imply I will not be specializing in golf when the time comes.”

This was Morikawa’s 14th official tour occasion of the season. He tied for second at the Genesis Invitational in February and positioned second at the CJ Cup at Summit in the fall. He completed fifth at the Masters Tournament, closing in model by holing out from the bunker on the 72nd gap.

In addition to his two majors, Morikawa has three different PGA Tour victories, all coming earlier than he turned 25. He gained twice final season; the World Golf Championships and the British Open. He additionally gained the DP World Championship in 2021. Entering the US Open, he was ranked No. 7 in the Official World Golf Rankings and was twentieth in factors on the FedEx Cup record.

In addition to the golf occasions Morikawa has deliberate, there’s additionally a marriage coming as much as his longtime girlfriend, Katherine Zhu. Unlike Brooks Koepka, who publicized his June wedding ceremony, Morikawa wouldn’t expose any plans of the impending nuptials.

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