U.S. Open: Collin Morikawa Fires Third-Round 66, Climbs to Tie for 9th

The former Cal star vaulted from a tie for 51st place after his first bogey-free round at the U.S. Open
Collin Morikawa
Collin Morikawa / Adam Cairns-USA TODAY Sports

Collin Morikawa thrust himself back into the hunt at the 124th U.S. Open after delivering a third-round 66 at Pinehurst No. 2 in Pinehurst, NC on Saturday.

Morikawa, who began the day tied for 51st place and nine strokes off the pace, climbed to a tie for ninth at even par, still leaving him seven strokes behind leader Bryson DeChambeau, who shot a 67 and sits at minus-7.

Asked what went well Saturday, Morikawa answered succinctly, "Everything."

“Made up-and-downs, putted a lot from off the fringe [and] just made the putts that I needed to,’’ he said. “Yesterday, I think I missed everything that I could have made. First day was kind of a little bit of both.

"So it was nice to see putts go in (and) just kind of build that hopefully for tomorrow."

He remains seven strokes behind DeChambeau, but wasn't ruling out anything. "If I play the way I did today, who knows what could happen."

Morikawa said the challenging course and conditions require patience.

"You can't fake in a round when it's this tough," he said. "Eveyrthing gets exposed. Yes, some good shots aren't rewarded as well as you would want. It's a true test of who can stay as patient as possible."

Tied for second at 4 under par are Matthieu Pavon, Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay. Hideki Matsuyama and second-round leader Ludvig Aberg share fifth place at minus-2, with Tyrell Hatton and Tony Finau at minus-1.

Morikawa’s bogey-free round - the first in his career at the U.S. Open - matched the third-best score anyone posted over the first three days on a difficult, par-70 course. His 66 was the day's best score. Patrick Cantlay and Rory McIlroy each had rounds of 65 on Thursday. 

And it gave a shot at possibly pursuing his third major title. Morikawa already has victories at the PGA Championship and The Open in Britain.

Ranked No. 7 in the world after a runner-up finish at the Memorial last week, Morikawa birdied No. 1 to jump from 51st to  share of 37th. When he birdied No. 11, he was in 29th place. His third birdie, on No. 13, bumped him to 19th.


Published |Modified
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.