BROOKLINE, Mass. — Halfway by the U.S. Open, Collin Morikawa stood atop the leaderboard wanting so as to add a 3rd main championship to his résumé.
However on transferring day, as Saturdays are known 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 on the Nation Membership greater than glad, having improved his rating by 11 photographs from the earlier spherical.
“I don’t know if I discovered one thing,” he mentioned after his 66 moved him to 2 below par and right into a tie for fifth. “I feel it simply taught me that I have to go play golf. This 12 months has been so centered on attempting to hit that minimize and attempting to be so excellent, and that’s who I’m. However simply exit and play. Issues are going to be powerful. The ball will not be going to go the place you need. However simply determine it out.”
Morikawa, the defending British Open champion and the 2020 P.G.A. 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. However 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 might have gotten to 4, that might be a pleasant quantity to put up. It was nonetheless just a few brief, however it 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 event that he was struggling along with his iron play. He usually performs a left-to-right minimize shot, however currently the ball had been going right-to-left, he mentioned. However Morikawa had little hassle the primary two days.
“With the way in which I had been taking part in, I didn’t see that coming,” he mentioned.
He added: “I hope many seven-overs aren’t coming sooner or later. Nevertheless it simply sort of made me refocus and sort of simply get again into issues. Simply get it off the tee, onto the golf green, after which fear about it from there.”
Morikawa known as Sunday’s spherical “an enormous increase” and mentioned he would keep in mind the weekend extra for his three sub-70 scores than the Saturday meltdown. Earlier than the third spherical, his worst rating in a U.S. Open had are available in 2020 at Winged Foot in New York, the place he opened with a 76 and missed the minimize.
Final 12 months, he completed in a tie for fourth 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 12 months, Morikawa mentioned he deliberate to play the Scottish Open to tune up for this 12 months’s British Open at St. Andrews, a course he mentioned he had not but performed. However he mentioned he understood it might be quite a bit completely different for him this time round for 2 causes: his standing because the reigning champion and the venue, the historic Outdated Course.
“I feel I’m going to must do a extremely good job prioritizing each single day and splitting up what I have to give attention to,” he mentioned. “Whether or not it’s the golf or whether or not I simply have to get pleasure from simply being there at St. Andrews, again because the defending champion.”
He added, “There’s going to be a pair extra distractions, however that doesn’t imply I received’t be specializing in golf when the time comes.”
This was Morikawa’s 14th official tour occasion of the season. He tied for second on the Genesis Invitational in February and positioned second on the CJ Cup at Summit within the fall. He completed fifth on the Masters Match, closing in type by holing out from the bunker on the 72nd gap.
Along with his two majors, Morikawa has three different PGA Tour victories, all coming earlier than he turned 25. He received twice final season; the World Golf Championships and the British Open. He additionally received the DP World Championship in 2021. Coming into the U.S. Open, he was ranked No. 7 within the Official World Golf Rankings and was twentieth in factors on the FedEx Cup listing.
Along with the golf occasions Morikawa has deliberate, there is also a marriage coming as much as his longtime girlfriend, Katherine Zhu. In contrast to Brooks Koepka, who publicized his June wedding ceremony, Morikawa wouldn’t expose any plans of the upcoming nuptials.