The Open: Morikawa explains major mindset after surging into lead

By Sports Desk July 16, 2021

Collin Morikawa feels has the right mindset to cope with the pressure of majors after he took the lead at the Open on Friday with a fine 64.

The debutant surged up the leaderboard with a tremendous second round, moving to nine under for the tournament.

A stunning card from the 2020 US PGA Championship winner showed just one bogey and he could have even moved further clear had a putt on 18 not skirted the cup.

Morikawa made seven birdies as he took advantage of fine early conditions at Royal St George's.

As well as his US PGA win, Morikawa, 24, also has a 2021 top-10 finish to his name at that tournament, as well as coming fourth at the U.S. Open last month.

"Yeah, I look at them as obviously they're starred," he said of his success at majors so early in his career.

"We have four of them a year, and you're trying to definitely win these four because they're that big. 

"Talking about last year's PGA, I had seen every single guy before, I had played with every single guy, and that doesn't make anything different. 

"It's just the stage that we're on, more media, more spectators, more people around. 

"But that's everything outside that I could control. For me, it's just let's go figure out this golf course Monday through Wednesday like I have been the past couple years and figure it out on what I need to do to play well. 

"This style of golf is very different, but playing last week at the Scottish Open helped tremendously."

 

Morikawa posted a 67 in round one but believes his play was similar across the first two days.

"Just sticking to what I've been doing," he said of his Friday success.

"On Thursday I thought I played really well, just wasn't hitting as many fairways. Was able to hit a few more fairways early on in the round this time."

Morikawa ended his round three clear of overnight leader Louis Oosthuizen, who was joined at six under by fellow South African Daniel van Tonder as well as Emiliano Grillo, Marcel Siem and Jordan Spieth.

A flying start from former champion Spieth, who birdied his first two holes on Friday, meant he was promptly up to seven under and within two of his American compatriot, though he then dropped a shot at the third.

Birdies on 17 and 18 meant Grillo matched Morikawa with a 64, while Siem also gained two shots in the final two holes to sign for an impressive 67.

Rory McIlroy, meanwhile, all but ensured he will finish above the cut line with a crucial birdie on 18.

The Northern Irishman is level par for the week after a second straight 70. 

In an up-and-down round two, he recovered nicely from consecutive bogeys to start his day but then bogeyed 16 and 17 before improving his position once more at the last.

Related items

  • Ryder Cup: Stricker rules out captaining USA again after record-breaking win Ryder Cup: Stricker rules out captaining USA again after record-breaking win

    Steve Stricker has ruled out captaining the United States for a second time after the record 19-9 Ryder Cup victory over Europe at Whistling Straits.

    The USA dominated Europe, winning by the biggest margin in the competition's history to regain the trophy on Sunday.

    It was a dream three days for Stricker in his home state of Wisconsin as his side showed why they were such strong favourites.

    The USA will travel to the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club in Rome for the 2023 event, but Stricker says they will have a different captain.

    Asked about retaining the role, he said: "I don't think it's going to happen. It's mapped out and there's guys in positions to be the next captains.

    "It was an unbelievable experience, don't get me wrong; I'm glad it's over."

    Stricker paid tribute to his "special" team after such a phenomenal performance.

    He said: "It was a special week all the way around. I don't know what else to say, and I've said it a number of times all week long and how these guys came together, and how they started two weeks ago when they showed up for the practice round.

    "I could see the camaraderie then. I could see the willingness to prepare and get ready for this event prior to us even arriving. So a lot of these guys have played a lot of golf with each other. They have up with each other. It's a special group of guys."

    He added: "It was just putting them out there in a position. The assistant captains and I talked a bunch with Tiger [Woods] on there, as well. And they're just so talented. Their average world ranking is 8.9. That's unheard of. Out of 12 guys.

    "So it was really just getting out of their way; what I feel like. Let them go. Provide an atmosphere and camaraderie that they enjoyed and wanted to be a part of. And they all want to win, and it showed and they prepared for it.

    "It was a great bunch of guys, and I really had a great time and they deserve it."

  • Ryder Cup: Europe dethroned in record manner but Harrington can't fault players Ryder Cup: Europe dethroned in record manner but Harrington can't fault players

    Europe captain Padraig Harrington was upbeat despite his team's record Ryder Cup loss to the United States, insisting the visitors could walk away from Whistling Straits with their heads held high.

    Harrington's Team Europe were no match for hosts USA, dethroned following a record-breaking 19-9 defeat in Wisconsin on Sunday.

    USA claimed the Ryder Cup by a record margin, surpassing the previous 18.5 - 9.5 victory at Walton Heath Golf Club in 1981.

    Europe were outclassed from the outset and Steve Stricker's USA sealed victory in just the fifth match of the scheduled 12 singles showdowns on the final day.

    Team Europe had won seven of the past nine editions of the biennial event but failed to recover from a six-shot disadvantage heading into the final day as USA reigned supreme and despite the heavy defeat, Harrington could not fault his players.

    "I was not aware of it until it became close," Harrington said of USA's record-winning margin. "And then I did actually have to ask. I was involved in the last two that were records [grimacing] but on the right side of it.

    "Look, somebody has to. That's the way it goes. This was a very strong US Team. Everybody here gave 100 per cent, and pulled together, everybody worked together this week. There's nobody walking away from this week, and I will talk to each player individually: Nobody didn't give their heart and soul to this team.

    "We don't owe anybody anything in that sense. They all tried. They all put it in. And you know, there will be more Ryder Cups ahead. Most of them – as I just said before, most of them have the best part of their career ahead of them, there's no doubt about that. So they shouldn't walk away from this in any shape or form feeling like, hey, they gave it 100 per cent. That's all you can ask from the players.

    "Did they do their job? Yes, they did. It didn't go right, but that happens in sport. Just remember, you know, if you want to have these glorious moments, you've got to put your head out there, and sometimes it doesn't go right. You get your head knocked off.

    "That's just the reality of sport. If you put yourself out there, you'll have some miserable days, but also, if you put yourself out there, you'll have those thrilling days when you win."

     

  • Ryder Cup: Stricker hails 'special' Team USA after record-breaking victory Ryder Cup: Stricker hails 'special' Team USA after record-breaking victory

    Steve Stricker lauded Team USA's "special group" after the United States captain oversaw a record-breaking 19-9 win over Europe.

    USA claimed the Ryder Cup by a record margin on Sunday, surpassing the previous 18.5 to 9.5 victory at Walton Heath Golf Club in 1981.

    Stricker's USA were dominant from the outset in Wisconsin, where the hosts sealed victory in just the fifth match of the scheduled 12 singles, having required just 3.5 points for glory.

    After hoisting the cup aloft in front of a passionate crowd at Whistling Straits, Stricker hailed his team.

    "It was a special week all the way around," Stricker told reporters. "I don't know what else to say, and I've said it a number of times all week long and how these guys came together, and how they started two weeks ago when they showed up for the practice round.

    "I could see the camaraderie then. I could see the willingness to prepare and get ready for this event prior to us even arriving. So a lot of these guys have played a lot of golf with each other. They have up with each other.

    "It's a special group of guys. It was fun to be part of it all this week, especially here in Wisconsin."

    Europe had won seven of the past nine editions of the biennial team event but failed to recover from a six-shot disadvantage heading into the final day as USA reigned supreme.

    Stricker added: "This didn't start just two weeks ago. This started months ago. For me, three years ago two, and a half years ago. It's been on my mind ever since I was announced to be captain two and a half years ago.

    "I wanted to make a special week for these guys. I've been part of a few teams, and I know how it can go. I've been on a losing team and I've been on a winning side, team, and we just want these guys to enjoy the experience. And as you can tell up here right now, it looks like they have enjoyed the experience."

    Dustin Johnson led a star-studded United States with a 5-0 record throughout the Ryder Cup and Stricker continued: "I could see it in these guys' eyes last night when we left here, the course, after just saying a couple words, I could tell they felt like there was unfinished business, and they came out and they were ready today.

    "They played great, and I could see it in their eye that they wanted it all. They wanted more."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.