Morikawa Keeps Olympic Berth After Finishing 14th at U.S. Open

DeChambeau wins U.S. Open as McIlroy fades; Cal alum Morikawa finishes eight strokes behind
Collin Morikawa prepares to putt on the first green Sunday
Collin Morikawa prepares to putt on the first green Sunday / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Collin Morikawa failed to maintain the momentum he had built on Saturday, shooting 2-over-par 72 in the final round of the U.S. Open on Sunday, leaving him tied for 14th place with a four-day total of 2 over par.

However, he was able to maintain a razor-thin lead over Patrick Cantlay to claim the United States' fourth and final berth to the Paris Olympics. Cantlay needed to finish second or better in the U.S. Open to pass Morikawa for that fourth berth. Cantlay finished tied for third, so Morikawa will be going to Paris.

Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Wyndham Clark and Morikawa will be the four United States' representatives in the Olympics, based on their world rankings following the U.S. Open. Morikawa is ranked No. 7 and Cantlay is No. 8.

In the U.S. Open, Morikawa, a Cal graduate, finished eight strokes behind Bryson DeChambeau, who benefited from shaky play by Rory McIlroy over the final holes to win the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. 

DeChambeau fired a 1-over-par 71 to finish at 6-under, one stroke ahead of McIlroy, who had a two-shot lead with five holes to play but bogeyed three of the final four holes, missing short par putts on No. 16 and No. 18. It was DeChambeau's second major title, having won the 2020 U.S. Open.

Morikawa's attention was on the Olympics. Besides being unable to claim his third major title, Morikawa’s berth in the Paris Olympics was in jeopardy. But Cantlay was not quite able to jump past Morikawa.

Morikawa came into the U.S. Open holding the United States’ fourth and final Olympics berth based on his No. 7 world ranking.  However, Cantlay had a chance to jump past Morikawa for that final U.S. spot depending on how he finished Sunday.  Cantlay, ranked No. 9 entering the week, carded an even-par 70 on Sunday to finish at 4-under to finish tied for third place behind DeChambeau and McIlroy. So Cantlay will be left out of the Olympics despite his top-10 ranking.

Morikawa was unable to challenge for the title in the U.S. Open, though. He shot a 66 on Saturday and began the final round tied for ninth place, seven strokes behind third-round leader Bryson DeChambeau.

But Morikawa took himself out of contention on the front nine on Sunday.  He bogeyed four of the first nine holes with only one birdie in that span.  That left him at 3-over for the day and 3-over for the tournament, nine strokes off the lead.

He regained control on the back nine. Morikawa birdied the 10th, 11th and 13th holes sandwiched around a bogey on No. 12 to put him at 1-over, but he recorded no more birdies.  He finished with three birdies, but that was offset by six bogeys.

He had finished in the top four of the first two majors of 2024, and he was hoping for a 10th top-10 finish in major events in his career. But that is unlikely to happen.

Regarding the Olympics, Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele and Wynham Clark were positioned to secure the top three spots by U.S. golfers before the U.S. Open began.

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Jake Curtis

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.