Homa claims PGA Tour's season-opening Fortinet Championship

By Sports Desk September 19, 2021

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  • Morikawa closing in world number one status after seizing control in the Bahamas Morikawa closing in world number one status after seizing control in the Bahamas

    Collin Morikawa is close to overtaking Jon Rahm as the world's top golfer after opening up a five-stroke lead ahead of the final round of the Hero World Challenge.

    A victory for the two-time major winner in the Bahamas will see him follow Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth in becoming the fourth person to become world number one before turning 25.

    Morikawa started Saturday's session at Albany Golf Club as one of three players a stroke behind leader Bryson DeChambeau after an unfortunate bogey on the final hole on day two.

    DeChambeau's lead quickly evaporated with a bogey on the opening hole, however, and the American struggled with three more bogeys on the back nine to finish one-over-par for the day as he slipped down to ninth.

    Open champion Morikawa took full advantage by firing an eight-under 64 in a round that included six birdies and an eagle chip-in on the par-five third.

    Morikawa, who last month became the first American to win the Race to Dubai with a victory at the DP World Tour, is now 18-under after 54 holes on the 20-man field.

    Fellow American Brooks Koepka shot 69, his only blemish a double-bogey on the par-three eighth, to move into second place behind Morikawa.

    Daniel Berger dropped two shots on the final three holes and joins Patrick Reed, Viktor Hovland, Sam Burns and Tony Finau in a tie for third, six strokes behind Morikawa.

    The performance of the day belonged to Harris English thanks to his 10 birdies, though it was not quite a blemish-free round as he dropped a shot on hole one.

  • DeChambeau takes lead at Hero World Challenge DeChambeau takes lead at Hero World Challenge

    Bryson DeChambeau carded an eight-under-par 64 to take the lead after the second round of the Hero World Challenge at Albany Golf Club in the Bahamas.

    World number seven DeChambeau started Friday's session down in 11th but climbed to the top of the standings on 11 under for the tournament with an impressive round.

    The 2020 US Open winner double-bogeyed on the par-four 16th after pulling his drive into a bush, but that was the only blemish as he made 10 birdies.

    DeChambeau, whose only title this calendar year came at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, is one stroke clear of fellow Americans Collin Morikawa, Tony Finau and Brooks Koepka.

    Morikawa will overtake Jon Rahm as the world's number one should he win the tournament, and he would have had a share of the lead if not for a bogey on the 18th.

    "When I put myself in the fairway, I was converting, I was making the birdies when I needed to," said Morikawa.

    “I still felt like the driver's a little off, but, you know, get my timing a little bit better tomorrow and the next day and we'll be just fine."

    Finau began the back nine with a bogey but recovered well with four birdies on the following eight holes to remain in strong contention for the title with two rounds to go.

    Rory McIlroy, who held a share of the first-round lead with Daniel Berger and Abraham Ancer, shot a one under-par 71 on Friday to slip four off the pace.

    Berger is fifth after a round of 69, while Ancer's 73 – which included five bogeys – saw him drop outside the top 10.

    Meanwhile, Sam Burns impressed with seven birdies for a second-round 65 that was bettered only by DeChambeau as he climbed into a tie for sixth alongside Tyrrell Hatton.

  • McIlroy, Berger and Ancer share first-round lead at Hero World Challenge McIlroy, Berger and Ancer share first-round lead at Hero World Challenge

    Rory McIlroy earned a share of the first-round lead after the former world number one carded a six-under-par 66 at the Hero World Challenge.

    McIlroy – winner of October's CJ Cup – was almost flawless on the opening day as the four-time major champion joined Daniel Berger and Abraham Ancer a stroke clear atop the leaderboard.

    McIlroy had an eagle, six birdies and a double-bogey at Albany Golf Course in the Bahamas on Thursday.

    "It was nice to play the back nine the way I did and put myself back in the tournament," said McIlroy, who did not drop a shot on the back nine with three birdies and an eagle, which he improbably chipped in.

    Berger boasted a four-shot advantage at one point in the first round after bursting out the blocks with four consecutive birdies, though two bogeys on the back nine undid some of that good work.

    But McIlroy and Ancer ensured the American must share the lead entering Friday's second round, the former going five-under following the turn at the PGA Tour tournament.

    Fellow leader Ancer finished in similar style, despite also faltering with a bogey on the ninth, recording five birdies after the halfway point to join the group on six under.

    It looked like there would be a different leader, however, with American star Justin Thomas a shot in front until the final hole, which he double-bogeyed.

    Brooks Koepka – a four-time major champion – joins the 2017 PGA Championship winner after registering 67, with Webb Simpson also a shot off the initial mark.

    The quality on display does not stop there, with Tony Finau, Patrick Reed, Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa all managing 68 to sit two shots off the three-man leading pack ahead of day two.

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