Fri, 07 Aug 2020

Morikawa starts strong at Workday Charity Open

Field Level Media
10 Jul 2020, 09:55 GMT+10

Collin Morikawa missed his first cut for the first time in his career two weeks ago and relaxed at home last week.

He certainly seemed refreshed on Thursday as he recorded a 7-under 65 to take the first-round lead at the Workday Charity Open at Dublin, Ohio.

Morikawa had one eagle, six birdiesand one bogey during the stellar round at Muirfield Village Golf Club. He holds a one-shot lead over Canada's Adam Hadwin.

"There's a lot of positives to take forward," Morikawa told reporters after his round. "Stick to that same game plan the next three days and kind of adjust based on weather, wind and really play smart. I think you have to play smart out here.

"You have to be a thinker, you have to think through this golf course because you can make some big numbers and make some bogeys if you don't focus throughout the entire 18 holes."

The 23-year-old Morikawa made the cut in his first 22 events as a pro, the second-longest streak in the past 30 years behind Tiger Woods (25). But the streak ended at the Travelers Championship late last month and the much-needed family time seemed to energize Morikawa.

"It's always nice to be relaxing and take a week off with the family and get back with the girlfriend and enjoy the time there," Morikawa said. "Because when we're back out here, we're out here competing. We want to win. It's business from Monday to Sunday.

"I kind of set the reset button but I just looked back at what I needed to work out. Obviously, I wasn't hitting the ball well through RBC (Heritage) and Travelers and I figured it out today and (try to) keep it for the next three days."

Morikawa's lone bogey came on 18 and he said he wasn't going to let that misstep affect his view of his round.

Meanwhile, Hadwin also stood out in the first round with the stellar 6-under 66 that included seven birdies and one bogey.

The Canadian bogeyed his first hole -- the par-4, No. 10 -- before later finding his stride. He birdied five of his last eight holes, including draining an 18-foot putt on No. 9 to end his round.

"Just hitting good shots, quality shots to the right side of the hole, giving myself looks," Hadwin told reporters of his round. "I hit some really good iron shots there starting on 18 kind of through four and five, and then made a couple good putts there on seven and nine to finish the round."

Zach Johnson, Aaron Wise, Canada's Nick Taylor and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama are tied for third at 5 under.

Taylor's round rated as a surprise as he is playing for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic halted play in March. He had three birdies and also converted an eagle on the par-5, No. 11.

"I didn't have a lot of expectations," Taylor said after his round. "I've played a lot of golf the last month, month and a half, so I felt ready in the sense of playing, in that playing mode."

Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed and England's Graeme McDowell are among a pack of players tied at 4-under 68.

Among the golfers to shoot 3 under were Xander Schauffele and Australian's Jason Day.

Spain's Jon Rahm had a bumpy day while finishing at even-par 72. The World No. 2 player had five birdies but also had three bogeys and a double-bogey 6 on No. 6.

Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth also are at even par, while Phil Mickelson shot 1-over 73.

World No. 6 Brooks Koepka shot 74 after struggling badly over his first nine holes. Starting on the back nine, Koepka had three bogeys and a double-bogey on 18 before recovering with three birdies on his latter nine holes.

England's Justin Rose also is at 2-over.

--Field Level Media

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