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Cal Golf: Collin Morikawa Zooms Up From 17th to a Tie for 5th at the U.S. Open

The 25-year-old now has finished in the top-5 at all four of golf's major events.

Collin Morikawa delivered his second 4-under round of 66 on Sunday, soaring from 17th place entering the day to a tie for fifth at the 122nd U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.

The 25-year-old Cal grad, who already owns major titles at the PGA Championship and British Open, never challenged the leaders here on Sunday.

But his comeback following a disappointing third-round score of 7-over 77 was impressive. Morikawa sprinkled five birdies against just one bogey during his round to finish the tournament at 2 under and four strokes back of winner Matt Fitzpatrick.

Morikawa’s four-day scorecard read: 69-66-77-66. No other golfer in the field had two rounds as good as 66, but none of the top 30 finishers had a one-day score as high as 77.

Collin Morikawa round 4

Collin Morikawa's Sunday scorecard

He finished in a tie with Rory McIlroy, who was hoping to win his first major since 2014. Each takes home a check for $674,953.

On the heels of a placing fifth at the Masters in April, Morikawa now has scored a top-5 finish in all four majors.

Morikawa’s fellow Cal alum, 31-year-old Max Homa, never could match his opening-round 69 and finished in a tie for 47th place at 9 over. Homa shot a 72 that included three bogeys on the back nine on Sunday and won $50,672.

Max Homa's Sunday scorecard

Max Homa's Sunday scorecard

Homa, who has won twice on the tour this season and is enjoying his best year, later reached out with this upbeat message via Twitter: 

Max Homa tweet

Fitzpatrick, a 27-year-old from Sheffield, England who briefly played at Northwestern, scored his eighth top-10 finish of the season but his first major victory. He tied for fifth at the PGA Championship earlier this year — his only previous top-10 finish in 27 major starts — and was 55th at the U.S. Open a year ago.

He became the first Englishman to win the U.S. Open since Justin Rose won at Merion in 2013. Only Jack Nicklaus (Pebble Beach) previously won both the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Open on the same course.

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Fitzpatrick shot 68s both days of the weekend to finish at minus-6, holding off world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris, who tied for second at minus-5. Hideki Matsuyama was fourth at minus-3.

Ranked No. 18 in the world, Fitzpatrick scored a $3,150,000 payday. His victory at The Country Club came nine years after he won the U.S. Amateur on the same course.

Morikawa had high praise for the course.

"Other than the tiniest chipping green, I thought it was the best place I've played in a while," he said Sunday. "There's only been a handful of courses where I really step foot on property, and you see it for a short period of time, and then you think you're going to love it, and this was one of them. There's no B.S. around that. It's a good golf course.

"You really have to plot your way around. You've got to think through it. I thought it was a course that you could play pretty well at and a course that could kind of hurt you in the back pretty quickly. I think I got both ends of that, but overall, yeah, I loved it."

Coming off a third round in which he had four bogeys and two double-bogeys, Morikawa was sharp from the start on Sunday.

He climbed to 11th place when he birdied No. 4 before dropping back to 16th after his lone bogey of the day on the fifth hole.

He played 4 under the final 13 holes with birdies at 8, 11, 13 and 17.

Scheffler, coming off a 71 on Saturday, birdied four of the first six holes in the final round to announce he would challenge for his fifth victory of the season. He previously won the Masters.

But bogeys on Nos. 10 and 11 slowed his momentum.

Zalatoris, seeking his first tour victory after a runnerup finish at the PGA Championship this year, had a chance to force a playoff but missed wide left on a birdie putt on 18 by perhaps an inch. That narrow miss still left with a hefty check worth $1,890,000, but potentially cost him $1,260,000.

World No. 2 and defending U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm, who held the lead until a double-bogey on the 18th hole Saturday, finished with a round of 74 and slid to a tie for 12th. He played 6 over par the final 19 holes.

Cover photo of Collin Morikawa by Aaron Doster, USA Today

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