Cal Golf: Collin Morikawa Slips to Seventh Place at RBC Heritage

After Three Rounds of High-Level Consistency, He Falters in Some Key Moments
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After three days of exquisite golf, Collin Morikawa couldn’t make the big shot or avoid the occasional slip-up Sunday and fell from second place a tie for seventh at the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head, S.C.

Morikawa shot a final-round one-over 72 that included three bogeys and just two birdies and never made a run at 47-year-old Stewart Cink, who held off the field to score a largely stress-free victory by a margin of four strokes.

Morikawa finished with a 12-under par score of 272 after playing 13 under through Saturday. But while he never challenged for his fifth career tour victory, he pocketed his fourth top-10 finish of the season, the 14th in 45 events through the first three years of his professional career.

He shared seventh place with Chris Kirk and took home a check for $230,750. That pushes Morikawa's career prize earnings to $9,986,025 -- in less than three calendar years.

Morikawa made 15 birdies and just two bogeys through the tournament’s first 54 holes. Over his first three days at the Harbor Town Golf Links, he assembled rounds of 65, 68 and 67.

Morikawa arrived at the final round trailing Cink by five strokes but alone in second.

That high-level consistency abandoned the 24-year-old Cal grad early on Sunday.

He birdied the first hole then had bogeys on No. 2 and No. 4 to fall into fifth place. Morikawa made par on his next nine holes but on two of them barely missed birdies that could have changed arc of his afternoon.

He hit a 30-foot chip from fringe on No. 10 that stopped at the lip of the hole, no more than an inch from a birdie. On No. 11, Morikawa’s birdie putt from about 8 feet barely missed.

As others made their move, Morikawa found himself in a tie for sixth when he bogeyed No. 14, dropping him to a tie for eighth. He birdied the par-5 15th and was back in a tie for seventh.

Cink only needed to avoid disaster on Sunday to claim his second victory of the season after an 11-year drought. He had just one bogey in the final round — and three for the tournament. The 47-year-old has now won the RBC Heritage three times, most recently in 2004.

Cink, whose 24-year-old son Reagan served as his caddie, won $1,278,000. His wife and their other son also were on hand for the occasion "I don't even know if I have the words," Cink said of sharing the moment with his family.

He shot a one-under 70 in the final round after carding 63, 63 and 69 through Saturday. Cink’s 265 was four strokes better than the scores posted by Harold Varner III and Emiliano Grillo, who tied for second.

Maverick McNealy, Corey Conners and Matt Fitzpatrick shared fourth place at 13 under, six strokes behind Cink. 

Cover photo of Collin Morikawa by Joshua S. Kelly, USA Today

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo