Cal Golf: Collin Morikawa Ties for Fourth at John Deere Classic PGA Event
Life is pretty good right now for Collin Morikawa.
The former Cal golfer recorded a pair of eagles — one on the second hole, another on the 17th — and wound up tied for fourth place at the John Deere Classic, giving him back-to-back top-10 finishes in his brief but promising PGA career.
“It was fun today,” Morikawa said on the CBS broadcast of the event from Silvis, Illinois.
The CBS analyst said Morikawa had unofficially secured his PGA tour card for next season.
GolfChannel.com confirmed the, writing this:
The 22-year-old Cal product, in just his fifth pro start, tied for fourth Sunday at the John Deere Classic to collect 122.5 non-member FedExCup points and run his season total to 456.5. With just three weeks left in the regular season, that number, which currently would slot Morikawa at 88th, will assuredly be more than No. 125 in the final standings, meaning Morikawa can count on earning his card for the 2019-20 season.
“I had the confidence to know I was going to do it,” Morikawa said. “… I knew it was going to take a low score today if I was going to move up. Even [par] wasn't going to do you good, and everyone was making birdies out there. It feels really good and it's definitely a little weight off the back.”
Morikawa, who graduated from Cal this spring after his senior season, played the final two days at the TPC Deere Run course without a bogey.
His final tally was 17-under par 266 following a final-round 66 on Sunday. He shared fourth place with Chris Stroud.
Morikawa shot 65 on Saturday after a 66 on Friday. He had just one bogey over the final three days.
He has shot in the 60s in 11 of his past 13 rounds.
Morikawa earned $264,000, boosting his total winnings to $1,042,904 through five career events.
His strong performance came one week after finishing in a tie for second at the 3M Open in Minneapolis. Earlier, Morikawa tied for 35th at the U.S. Open.
The CBS Sports website gave Morikawa an “A” for his performance:
Collin Morikawa (T3): What a stud. He finished first in the field in approach shots and strokes gained tee to green, and earned his PGA Tour card with his second straight top-five finish. It's a nice reparation after that heartbreaking loss last week to Matthew Wolff at the 3M Open, and he did it under pressure, too! After firing just a 1-under 70 in Round 1, Morikawa reeled off a 66-65-66 close to earn his card. Grade: A
South African Dylan Fritelli shot a final-round 64 to win the event with a four-day score of 21-under par 263. Russell Henley was two strokes back in second and Andrew Landry birdied the final hole to wind up alone in third at minus-18
It’s all come rather fast and furious to Morikawa.
“I look back to yesterday feels like I just graduated college,” he said. “To finally be here and know I put up a good week … it’s going to be kind of free to go to Reno and try to win, just like this week.”
Morikawa was referring to the Barracuda Championship, set to begin July 25 at the Montreux Golf and Country Club in Reno.
He’s in a different world from his recent college days, but Morikawa said his approach remains basically the same.
“From Day 1, I've come out here trying to win. To keep that going is exactly what I want to do,” he said. “The past couple weeks I’ve given myself chances. It’s a great learning experience to kind of move on to this year, next year.”