Collin Morikawa Three Strokes Back Heading into Final Round

Former Cal golfer Morikawa is in contention at the Travelers Championship after carding a 66 in the third round, which included a three-hour rain delay
Collin Morikawa tees off in the third round of the Travelers Championship
Collin Morikawa tees off in the third round of the Travelers Championship / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Former Cal golfer Collin Morikawa stayed in contention at the Travelers Championship by shooting a 4-under-par 66 on Saturday in the third round at the TPC River Highlands course in Cromwell, Connecticut.

The day belonged to Cameron Young and his round of 11-under-par 59, but he is still five strokes off the pace. Morikawa is in the thick of things, despite dropping a few spots after his second-round 63 left him in second place.

Morikawa heads into Sunday’s final round in sixth place at 15 under par, three strokes behind third-round leader Tom Kim, who is at 18-under following a 5-under-par 65 on Saturday.

Morikawa was in the last pairing of the day and did not finish his round until after 8:30 p.m. Eastern time as the result of a three-hour rain delay midway through his round. He is one stroke behind Xander Schauffele and Sungjae Im, who are tied for fourth at 16 under, and two strokes in back of Scottie Scheffler and Akshay Bhatia, who tied for second at 17-under, one stroke behind the leader.

Morikawa, who is ranked seventh in the world, is playing some of the best golf of his career recently. He has a shot at finishing in the top four for the fourth time in his last five events. But he is looking for his first tour win since his victory in the Zozo Championship last October.

The PGA Tour website listed five things to look for in Sunday’s final round, and Morikawa came in at No. 3.

3. Can Collin Morikawa knock the victory door down?

Consistently contending is more draining mentally than physically. The steps accumulate, but the stress lingers. Morikawa has consistently put himself within earshot of victory this season. He played in the final group on Sunday at the Masters, the PGA Championship and the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday. He was also in contention at the RBC Heritage and Wells Fargo Championship.

He left each tournament tired and unsatisfied. It’s impressive that Morikawa has continually bounced back from those bouts of disappointment and he’s playing well again this week, currently 15-under, three back of Kim.

The last hurdle to clear is mental, Morikawa said. His swing is finally in a good place. Now, it’s about making the right decisions and being present for every shot. That’s the final differentiator.

“The biggest thing for me if I want to stay in contention is just not letting my mind kind of wander,” Morikawa said. “It's been a long stretch, it's hot, but I want to win and I'm going to stay as sharp as possible.”

Everyone’s round took a back seat to Young, who shot the first sub-60 round on the PGA Tour since 2020. It was the 13th sub-60 round since Al Geiberger first shot golf's "magic number" in 1977.

Young had two eagles on his round, which was completed before the three-hour rain delay. He is at 13-under heading into Sunday’s final round, and when the third round was completed Young found himself in 10th place, five strokes off the lead.

Former Cal standout Max Homa is not in contention, but he had pleasing finish to his round on Saturda

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Jake Curtis


Jake Curtis worked in the San Francisco Chronicle sports department for 27 years, covering virtually every sport, including numerous Final Fours, several college football national championship games, an NBA Finals, world championship boxing matches and a World Cup. He was a Cal beat writer for many of those years, and won awards for his feature stories.