Cal at the Olympics: Collin Morikawa 6 Strokes Off the Lead After One Round

A two-hour weather delay interrupted his first round of golf. Morikawa's second round starts at 4:25 p.m. Pacific time Thursday. Swimmer Tom Shields pulls iron-man duty.
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After a weather delay of about two hours, former Cal standout Collin Morikawa finished his opening round of the Tokyo Olympics golf competition with a 2-under-par score of 69 Thursday.

That left Morikawa tied for 20th, six strokes behind leader Sepp Straka of Austria, who finished his first round before the weather delay, carding an 8-under-par 63. Straka has a one-stroke lead over Jazz Janewattananond of Thailand, who is alone in second at 7-under.

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Morikawa, who entered the tournament as the favorite to win gold, will tee off for his second round at 4:25 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday.

Morikawa is coming off his second victory in a major, winning the British Open on July 18.

In his first round at the Olympics he was at 1-under and on the 14th green when the horn sounded to clear the course because of lightning nearby. 

Tropical Storm Nepartak was originally expected to hit the region this week, with maximum gusts of 70 mph, but it made landfall on northeastern Japan, and veered off the projected course that would have carried it to the Tokyo area and caused much more of a problem for the Olympics.

After a two-hour wait, Morikawa got back on the course at 4:15 p.m. Tokyo time (12:15 a.m. Thursday Pacific time). He was back on the course and parred the 14. Morikawa then birdied the 15th hole before recording pars on the final three holes.

There are three Americans in the Olympics golf event, being held at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama, Japan. Patrick Reed and Xander Schauffele are at 3-under, and Justin Thomas is at even-par.

Rory McIlroy (left) and Collin Morikawa complete their first round. Photo by Kyle Terada, USA Today

Rory McIlroy (left) and Collin Morikawa complete their first round. Photo by Kyle Terada, USA Today

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Tom Shields pulls double duty

Former Cal standout Tom Shields put on an iron-man performance on Thursday.

First he placed fourth in the eighth and last preliminary heat of the 100 butterfly, finishing in 51:57, good enough to be among the 16 swimmers who advanced to the semifinals.

Then, just 20 minutes later, he swam the butterfly leg for the USA in the 4x100 mixed medley semifinal.  Abbey Weitzeil, another Cal athlete who swam earlier in the day, swam the freestyle leg for this event, which is new to the Olympics.

The Americans finished second in their heat and advanced to the finals.

In this event, each country has two men and two women compete in the relay, with  each team determining whether a female or male will swim each leg.

---Another Cal swimmer, Zhang Quau of Singapore, also competed in the 100 butterfly, but he finished fourth in his heat in a time of 52.39 and did not qualify for the semifinal.

McLachlan eliminated in tennis

Ex-Cal tennis standout Ben McLachlan and partner Ena Shibahara, who represented Japan, were eliminated from mixed doubles competition as they lost in the quarterfinals to the Russian Olympic Committee team of  Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrey Rublev 7-5, 6-7 (0), 10-8. 

The third set was really a long tiebreaker. After McLachlan and partner won the second-set tiebreaker 7-0, the ROC team jumped ahead in the deciding tiebreaker. The Japanese duo fought off one match point at 9-7, but the ROC team won the match on the next point.

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Cover photo of Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa by Kyle Terada, USA Today

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Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53

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