CM – Hero World Challenge: Collin Morikawa takes the lead with five strokes, inches closer to the top


Morikawa, who had 68-66 rounds the first two days, is currently 18-under 198 with a day of action at Albany Golf Club.

Published: December 05, 2021 20:32 |

Last updated: December 05, 2021 8:32 PM

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Collin Morikawa reacts to his par on the 18th hole on day 3 of the Hero World Challenge PGA Tour at Albany Golf Club, Bahamas. (Photo | AP)

NASSAU (BAHAMAS): In the third round with an impressive 64 in the third round, the American golfer Collin Morikawa moved a little closer to victory and the coveted No. 1 place in the world and went a little closer to the Hero World Challenge lead here with a massive five strokes.

The 24-year-old, who recently became the first American to finish a season No. 1 on the European Tour, had a round with six birdies and an eagle. It was also the first bogey-free round of the week.

Morikawa, who had 68-66 rounds the first two days, is currently 18-under 198 with a day of action at Albany Golf Club. A win here will help the youngster topple Jon Rahm from the top spot in the world rankings, albeit for a week before the Spaniard comes back to the top on a two-year roll formula.

Morikawa started in second place overnight and took over took the lead as overnight lead Bryson DeChambeau, battling his way through the day, bogeyed the first hole. Morikawa replaced Eagle in third place and ran off the field.

He added birdies on the fourth and ninth, and then four birdies on the second nine. Reflecting on his game, Morikawa said, « I called my coach this morning and said yesterday the driver wasn’t working. I found a little something on the shooting range and it still doesn’t work great but I found something at 16, just something that I can use for tomorrow and everything else feels pretty good from then on. « 

The HWC debutant said he’ll stick to the plan, which has worked for him all week, despite a massive lead . « I think the game plan that I have so far is not such that I play crazy or stupid, I play my strengths and I have to hold on to that. I will continue what » I do and if I do not tee off feel good, maybe play back, but overall I feel really good with the game so far, « he said.

Brooks Koepka (69), DeChambeau (73), Tony Finau (70) and Daniel Berger (66) came next to Morikawa very close to the front. But they all withered later. Koepka showed signs that he was closer than five strokes when he had three birdies on the first four holes but failed to take advantage of many of the opportunities he had .

He had a double bogey on the eighth par 3 hole and had only two birdies on the second nine. At 69 he was the only runner-up and he played with Morikawa in the top flight in the finals. DeChambeau started that third lap with a one-shot lead, which quickly evaporated.

He hit a spectator at the back of the green, but it turned out to be a good break when it bounced back and rolled off a slope onto the putting surface about four feet. But he was unable to capitalize on it and made three putts for the bogey.

He had three birdies and four bogeys for a 73, one of the few three over par scores that included Rory McIlroy who also had a quadruple bogey nine at par-5 11. McIlroy (75) dropped from day one with a split lead to 18th of 20 players.

Daniel Berger recovered from a lost ball and a double bowey on the third par-5 when he made two Eagles, including one on the seventh par-4. Sam Burns (64) and Berger were in third place together with Viktor Hovland (67), Patrick Reed (67) and Tony Finau (70).

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