Collin Morikawa Advances in U.S. Open; Max Homa Misses the Cut

It was rough sledding for most golfers at Pinehurst No. 2 - even top-ranked Scottie Scheffler struggled to make it to the weekend
Collin Morikawa
Collin Morikawa / Katie Goodale-USA TODAY Sports

On a Friday at the 124th U.S. Open when only 22 of 156 golfers broke par, Cal alum Collin Morikawa survived the cut despite shooting a 4-over 74 in the second round.

The projected cut line moved all day, ranging from plus-3 to plus-5, where it finally settled, with 32 players advancing at 5 over through the first two days.

Morikawa, the world’s No. 7 player, actually had a little breathing room, wrapping up the first two days at 4 over after rounds of 70 and 74. He is part of a six-way tie for 51st place, nine strokes behind leader Ludvig Aberg, whose 69 gave him a minus-5 score.

Patrick Cantlay, Bryson DeChambeau and Thomas Detry are tied for second at minus-4 after a hot day at Pinehurst No. 2 at Pinehurst, NC.

It didn’t go as well for two other former Cal players. 

Max Homa, ranked 10th in the world, began the day at 1-over par and tied for 34th place. But he carded five bogeys over the first 12 holes of the second round and finished with a 5-over 75, leaving him at plus-6, tied for 84th and one stroke shy of advancing to the weekend.

Byeong Hun An, who played one season at Cal more than decade ago, was tied for 87th after shooting a 74 on Thursday. A triple-bogey seven on the second hole Friday started him off poorly and An wound up shooting a 78 for a two-day score of 12 over par.

Morikawa, 27, who already owns two major titles, mixed in just one birdie with five bogeys and will need to do something dramatic to became a factor on Sunday.

Homa, who has often struggled in golf’s major events, gave himself no chance Friday with a poor start. He has now made the cut just once in six tries at the U.S. Open.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler found his way to Saturday despite a 4-over 74 and a score of plus-5. He had two bogeys, one double bogey and — for the first time in 168 rounds — zero birdies.

"It was definitely a grind," said Scheffler, who has won five times this season, but needs to make up 10 strokes to catch Aberg. "Yesterday I felt like I played really well and got a lot out of my game, which I feel like I've done a good job of this year. Today was kind of the opposite."

Italian Francesco Molinari, 41, needed a hole-in-one on his final hole, the par-3 ninth, and he got it, staying alive at minus-5. The day before Molinari made triple-bogey on the same hole.

Tiger Woods, playing the U.S. Open for the first time in four years, shot 73 on Friday and missed the cut at 7 over.

Woods might have flipped the script, but a good-looking birdie putt on No. 15 stopped just short of the hole.

"Yeah, 15 hurt," Woods said. "That was a sweet little 7-iron in there and a good putt, high-side lip. If I make that putt, it flips the momentum, and I'm looking pretty good on the last three holes. Instead, I'm on the wrong side of the cut line and having to do something good on the last three holes."

Other big-name players who did not survive the first two days included Victor Hovland and Justin Thomas. Phil Mickelson, 25 years removed from winning the U.S. Open, wound up 15 over for two days, giving him the weekend off.


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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.