Among the many classes Collin Morikawa took away from lacking his first lower as a professional was that his dependable lower shot had left him. He discovered at it Muirfield Village, and it despatched him to a three-shot lead going into the weekend on the Workday Charity Open.
Morikawa ran off 4 straight birdies after making the flip Friday, completed with one other birdie after the primary of two storm delays and shot 6-under 66.
He was six photographs forward when he completed. He was 4 photographs forward over Sam Burns when his facet of the sector completed. And it was down to a few after some exceptional play by Justin Thomas (66) and Kevin Streelman (64) in surprisingly sturdy gusts that adopted the storm.
Morikawa was at 13-under 131, one shot off the 36-hole course document set by Jason Dufner in 2017 on the Memorial.
Nick Taylor is the highest Canadian heading into the weekend, sitting 6-under after capturing a 1-under 71 on Friday. Canada’s Adam Hadwin, alone for second after the primary spherical, struggled with a 1-over 73 spherical and is tied at 5-under with Mackenzie Hughes, who shot 3-under 69.
Canadian Corey Conners was 4-under after capturing a 3-under 69.
WATCH | Canadians eyeing leaders at Muirfield Village:
Thomas hasn’t made a bogey all week and completed his spherical with an 8-foot birdie putt. Streelman reached 11 below till a bogey on the par-Three eighth close to the tip of his spherical. They are going to be within the remaining group Saturday, which shall be performed in threesomes as a result of a pair of 75-minute delays from thunderstorms meant the second spherical did not end.
Which means Brooks Koepka has to attend to see if his large end paid off.
Beginning with a close to ace on the 12th gap, Koepka birdied 5 of his final seven holes, closing with a 40-foot birdie putt for a 69. That put him at 1-under 143, and he left in a tie for 68th with greater than 30 gamers unable to complete.
“That is what you have to do. I by no means surrender, by no means assume you are out of it, and you have simply received to battle by way of it it doesn’t matter what you are doing,” Koepka mentioned.
The highest 65 and ties advance and, with morning circumstances, the lower was prone to keep at 2 below. Koepka signed his card after which determined to play the Memorial subsequent week. He’s out of the highest 150 within the FedEx Cup with 5 tournaments left.
Sam Burns birdied his final three holes for a 66 and joined previous Muirfield Village winner Hideki Matsuyama (68) 4 photographs behind. Proper behind was Viktor Hovland, who took benefit of the tee being moved up on the par-4 14th. His tee shot almost went in and he settled for a tap-in eagle on his method to a 67.
Morikawa, with 15 birdies and an eagle by way of two rounds, is making his debut on the course Jack Nicklaus constructed, and maybe it is no coincidence that Nicklaus was well-known for hitting a lower.
WATCH | Morikawa builds large lead heading into weekend:
“I had heard from lots of people earlier than, this course was going to swimsuit a left-to-right shot, anyway,” Morikawa mentioned. “Clearly, Jack hit that, and I believe it does. However I have been in a position to depart myself some actually good numbers into strategy photographs. I have been preserving myself within the fairway for probably the most half, and that clearly helps.”
Phil Mickelson had one other thrilling day, minus the meltdown on the finish of his spherical. He opened by chipping in for birdie and making a 12-foot eagle putt. With the tee moved ahead on the 14th gap, the par Four guarded by a pond proper of the inexperienced, he hit driver to 10 toes and needed to accept birdie.
And proper earlier than the primary batch of storms arrived, Mickelson felt the wind shift and get stronger, so he took driver on the par-5 fifth and whaled away over the timber and simply inside yard fences. It settled within the tough, but it surely left him solely 114 yards away and a pitching wedge to the inexperienced.
The velocity of the greens fooled him, and he repeatedly left putts brief. Even so, he managed to submit an inexpensive quantity. Jordan Spieth wasn’t as lucky. He took double bogey on his 17th gap, the par-Three eighth, and was prone to miss the lower.
Morikawa had made 22 cuts in a row to begin his professional profession, a streak that ended two weeks in the past on the Vacationers Championship. That was three in need of the streak Tiger Woods put collectively when he turned professional.
However the 23-year-old Californian was extra serious about low scores than merely getting in 4 rounds and a pay verify.
“On the finish of the day, you are on the market to win tournaments,” he mentioned. “If you happen to miss the lower, make it by no matter, you simply need to be taught from every week. And like I mentioned, I discovered lots from these two days lacking the lower than I’ve in plenty of occasions up to now once I’ve been ending no matter.”
This one triggered him to take a better have a look at what was missing in his sport, as an alternative of being fairly content material with a strong end.
Someplace alongside the best way, he could not depend on his lower shot, permitting him to goal some 6 yards left of his goal and fade it towards the pin, regardless of the place it was positioned. It was after his observe spherical Wednesday that he discovered what was lacking, and he went again to an outdated drill of sticking his glove below his left arm. It is a rotational drill, and it paid off.
“I believe typically when one thing actually would not go your method, like lacking a lower, it simply stands out a bit of extra,” he mentioned.