PGA Championship: Collin Morikawa has first major title within reach

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 08: Collin Morikawa of the United States reacts to his second shot on the 13th hole during the third round of the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park on August 08, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 08: Collin Morikawa of the United States reacts to his second shot on the 13th hole during the third round of the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park on August 08, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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One of the bright spots on the PGA Tour, Collin Morikawa is in the mix for his first major championship title at the 2020 PGA Championship.

Collin Morikawa returned to Northern California this week for the PGA Championship. Now, the young PGA Tour star has his first major championship within reach.

Morikawa entered Saturday’s round in a tie for 25th place overall, but he had a huge round on moving day and now finds himself just two shots behind 54-hole leader Dustin Johnson. Morikawa’s 5-under par 65 tied Johnson and Scottie Scheffler for the best round on the course Saturday.

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The day started well for Morikawa who made pars on the first two holes of his Saturday round. He then birdied the par-3 third hole to get under par, where he would remain for the rest of his round.

Morikawa parred the par-5 fourth hole before knocking in another birdie, this one on the par-4 fifth hole. At that point, he was two under for his round.

Another par came on the sixth hole, then his third birdie of the round, on the par-4 seventh hole, moved him to 3-under par on his round. A pair of pars, on the eighth and ninth holes, closed out a 3-under par 32 nine holes for the young Californian.

On the back nine, Morikawa wasted no time continuing his hot streak.

He knocked in his fourth birdie of the day on the par-5 10th hole and followed that with a par on the 11th hole.

Morikawa ran into his only trouble of the day on the next two holes. On the par-4 12th hole, Morikawa’s approach shot found the rough, and he was unable to get up and down, suffering his first bogey of the day. On the 13th hole, he found the rough off the tee and a bunker with his second shot. Again, he was unable to get up and down, suffering another bogey and slipping to 3-under in the process.

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He steadied the ship with a par on the 14th hole, then got on a roll. He birdied numbers 15, 16 and 17 to get to 5-under par on his round. A par on the 18th hole left him at 7-under for the championship, just two behind Johnson.

The 23-year-old Morikawa, who has already won twice on tour during his short career, is now looking to take the next step in his progression. If he could add a major championship title to his resume, it would elevate his profile from a good young player to one of the sport’s next superstars. That goal will be within reach when he tees off at TPC Harding Park on Sunday.