Morikawa takes over top spot for consecutive cuts
Is four off lead after second-round 71 at Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
March 06, 2020
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
- Collin Morikawa is T13 heading into the weekend at Bay Hill. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, Fla. – A year ago, Collin Morikawa was finishing up his collegiate career at Cal.
Today, he’s already a PGA TOUR winner (Barracuda Championship) and stands on the precipice of his first start in THE PLAYERS Championship next week. His wild ride got even wilder still at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard on Friday.
While Tommy Fleetwood was shooting his second straight 76 to end his TOUR-leading made-cuts streak at 33, Morikawa, who turned 23 last month, carded a 1-under 71 to reach 3 under overall, four back of co-leaders Tyrrell Hatton (69) and Sung Kang (68).
With Morikawa’s 21st straight made cut, and with Fleetwood’s off-week at Bay Hill, Morikawa takes the No. 1 spot on the TOUR’s consecutive cuts list.
“A little bit,” Morikawa said, when asked if he was surprised. “It’s not easy out here, and every week you’ve got to go in, be prepped, you can’t let up. These courses will bite back.”
Exhibit A: Fleetwood was coming off a week in which he contended to the bitter end at The Honda Classic, so his 8 over total, five on the wrong side of the cut line, was a surprise even to him. His last missed cut on TOUR came at the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship. Friday also marked his first missed cut in 48 worldwide starts.
“Just a bad week, really,” he told golfchannel.com afterward. “It was going to happen eventually. It was just poor on most fronts this week. It’s disappointing.”
Morikawa’s round included an eagle at the par-5 16th hole, where his second shot stopped 5 ½ feet from the pin. He said he was aware of being the new No. 1 on the cuts list, and added that he and his caddie, J.J. Jacovac, joke about chasing the 142 straight cuts by Tiger Woods (1998-2005). Some believe that record may never be broken.
“I want to get to the next level of contending every week, not just making cuts and finishing whatever,” Morikawa said. “For me, it’s what can I pinpoint, where can I save a shot or two or three through the tournament, because it really matters out here. It makes a big difference.
“Me and J.J.,” he added, “we laugh about whatever Tiger’s at, one forty-something. Why not? For me, I just have to keep doing the things I need to do to play my golf, even if it’s a course that doesn’t necessarily fit my eye or my game. It’s what the best players do.”