BROOKLINE, Mass. — Halfway via 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 went uncharacteristically backward. After a seven-over-par 77, Morikawa discovered himself six photographs off the tempo when he teed off 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 happy that he had 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 beneath par and right into a tie for fifth. “I believe it simply taught me that I must go play golf. This 12 months has been so targeted on making an attempt to hit that lower and making an attempt to be so good, and that’s who I’m. However simply exit and play. Issues are going to be robust. The ball shouldn’t 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 circumstances. 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 quick.
“I had some momentum, type of carrying on,” mentioned Morikawa, who shot a 32, three beneath par, on the again 9. “If I may have gotten to 4, that will be a pleasant quantity to submit. It was nonetheless just a few quick, nevertheless 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 started that he was struggling together with his iron play. He usually performs a left-to-right lower shot, however currently the ball had been going right-to-left, he mentioned. However Morikawa had little bother 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. However it simply type of made me refocus and type of simply get again into issues. Simply get it off the tee, onto the 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 lower.
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 could be lots totally different for him this time round for 2 causes: his standing because the reigning champion and the venue, the historic Previous Course.
“I believe I’m going to must do a very good job prioritizing each single day and splitting up what I must concentrate on,” he mentioned. “Whether or not it’s the golf or whether or not I simply must 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 gained’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 Event, closing in fashion 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 gained twice final season; the World Golf Championships and the British Open. He additionally gained 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 checklist.
Along with the golf occasions Morikawa has deliberate, there is also a marriage coming as much as longtime girlfriend, Katherine Zhu. In contrast to Brooks Koepka, who publicized his June marriage ceremony, Morikawa wouldn’t expose any plans of the upcoming nuptials.