Golf-Knowing how to close deal a major advantage, says Morikawa

  • Golf
  • Sunday, 14 Apr 2024

Golf - The Masters - Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia, U.S. - April 13, 2024 Collin Morikawa of the U.S. hits his tee shot on the 18th hole during the third round REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Collin Morikawa is hoping some major experience will make the difference going into the Masters final round on Sunday, as he chases a third Grand Slam trophy in five years.

On an eclectic leaderboard - which includes an Olympic champion, the world number one, a Masters debutant and a major championship newcomer - Morikawa stands out for his experience at knowing how to close the deal.

Top ranked Scottie Scheffler, LIV Golf headliners Bryson DeChambeau and Cameron Smith all have major wins on their resumes, but Morikawa is the only one with two - the 2021 British Open and 2020 PGA Championship. He believes that could be a difference maker on Sunday.

A win would also give Morikawa the third leg of the career Grand Slam, needing only a U.S. Open to complete the collection of golf's four majors.

"I know where my head is at. I know what I need to focus on, and I know what needs to be done if I want to close it off tomorrow," said Morikawa, who has six career PGA Tour wins. "As a person and as a golfer, you don't know how you're going to react in those situations.

"Thankfully I've already been able to win two, so I can kind of go back on those experiences and just take that experience into tomorrow.

"I think I've got a pretty good plan, so hopefully we can execute it tomorrow."

With mixed results this season, Morikawa was not on the Green Jacket radar but is the only golfer at Augusta National to post three under-par rounds to sit just one shot back of the front-running Scheffler and one clear of Max Homa.

Outside of a fifth-place tie at The Sentry in early January, Morikawa has no other top 10s and in his three starts in the run up to the Masters missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, tied for 45th at the Players and 75th at the Texas Open.

"If you asked me at the beginning of the week I'd be one back heading into Sunday, I would have taken that anytime," said a confident Morikawa, one of just two players to break 70 on Saturday returning a three-under 69. "You give yourself a chance with 18 holes left, that's all you can really do and everything that you practice for.

"It all comes together tomorrow hopefully but it's going to be a grind, and I'm looking forward to that."

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Augusta; Editing by William Mallard)

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