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Cal Golf: Defending Champ Collin Morikawa Finishes in 62nd Place at Abu Dhabi

His shot at moving to No. 1 in the world golf rankings will have to wait for another time.

Collin Morikawa completed a disappointing weekend on Sunday, shooting a three-over 75 in the final round of the DP World Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship to finish in a three-way tie for 62nd place at an event he won three months ago.

The world’s No. 2 player, Morikawa arrived at Abu Dhabi this week within striking distance of the No. 1 ranking. The 24-year-old Cal grad needed a victory and he needed Spain’s Jon Rahm to finish no higher than a tie for seventh place at the American Express PGA tournament in order to ascend to the top spot.

Rahm entered Sunday’s final round at La Quinta, California, tied for 18th place, but Morikawa never was a contender at Abu Dhabi.

He was 10 strokes behind the leader after Thursday’s first round and finished the event 15 strokes behind winner Thomas Pieters of Germany.

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Morikawa shot 73-74-71-75 over four rounds at the par-72 layout at the Yas Links course. He had two birdies on the front nine Sunday, but had five bogeys, three of them over the final nine holes.

Pieters won after shooting an even-par 72 on Sunday. He finished 10 under par for the week and beat Spain’s Rafa Cabrera Bello and Shubhankar Sharma of India by one stroke.

Scott Jamieson of Scotland, who shot a first-round 63 and led through three rounds, blew up with a final-round 77 that included seven bogeys and finished 10th, four strokes off the pace.

Cover photo of Collin Morikawa by Adam Hagy, USA Today

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo