Collin Morikawa Places 2nd at Memorial, Improves Olympic Chances

The Cal alum, who wound up 1 stroke back of Scottie Scheffler, is positioned to land the fourth and final U.S. team roster spot for the Paris Games
Collin Morikawa reacts after chipping onto the green on No.18
Collin Morikawa reacts after chipping onto the green on No.18 / Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

Cal alum Collin Morikawa improved his chances of landing a spot on the U.S. Olympic team this summer after claiming second place and $2.2 million prize money at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio on Sunday.

Morikawa shot a final-round 1-under 71 to finish one stroke back of world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, who prevailed despite a bogey on the 17th hole. 

Morikawa, the only player from the final 13 groups on the course who broke par on the final day, made a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-3 12th hole.

Scheffler carded a final-round 74 to finish at 8-under par. Morikawa, who began the day four strokes back and part of a three-way tie for second, wound up one stroke back at minus-7.

Morikawa assembled rounds of 68-74-68-71 for his sixth top-10 finish of the year. The 27-year-old had four birdies and three bogeys on Sunday.

“I would love to be on the opposite end of this,” said Morikawa, still chasing his first win this season. “I've done it before, so it's not like I'm trying to learn how to close out a Sunday round … It's a lot of fun, obviously, being in these final rounds and being in these final groupings. I haven't seen it for quite some time and to kind of have this two-month stretch so far, it's been a lot of fun.”

Ranked No. 8 in the world entering the week, Morikawa has improved his chances of securing the fourth and final U.S. roster spot for the Paris Olympics.

Morikawa slipped to No. 20 in the world rankings early in the year but since then has tied for third at the Masters and tied for fourth at the PGA Championship. He also was fourth at the Charles Schwab Challenge.

“I knew, let's call it two, three months ago where I stood, and I knew I had to start playing some good golf and we've played some good golf to put myself in contention,” Morikawa told reporters last week. “So at the end of the day, these next two weeks are going to be big and I know what's at stake.”

With the U.S. Open set for next week at Pinehurst, N.C., Scheffler, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay are positioned to secure the top three spots by U.S. golfers. Morikawa has solidified his bid for the fourth spot.

Scheffler, after shooting 9 under par through two days, had three bogeys and just a single birdie in the final round but never surrendered the lead and clinch victory by making a 5-foot putt on 18. He pocketed his fifth win of the season with his wife and newborn son Bennett on hand.


Just before that winning putt, Morikawa chipped from just off the green, and he thought he had holed the shot, which would have forced a playoff.

Scheffler took home $4 million, pushing his season earnings past $24 million, breaking the record he set last year as tournament purses grow.

He's the first player with five wins in a season since Justin Thomas won five times in 2016-17. He also became the first player since in 1980 to have won five times on the tour before the U.S. Open.

Max Homa, who is No. 10 in the world rankings, didn’t do his Olympic any good by finishing in a tie for 22nd place at 4-over par after a final-round 76. Homa earned $200,200.

Byeong Hun An, another former Cal golfer, also was part of the five-way tie for 22nd. He shot 75 in the final round.


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Jeff Faraudo

JEFF FARAUDO

Jeff Faraudo was a sports writer for Bay Area daily newspapers since he was 17 years old, and was the Oakland Tribune's Cal beat writer for 24 years. He covered eight Final Fours, four NBA Finals and four Summer Olympics.