Collin Morikawa has had an amazing season on the PGA Tour. However, his first round at the BMW Championship was not amazing in any way.
The 2020 PGA Tour season has been an outstanding one for Collin Morikawa. But the first round of the BMW Championship on Thursday is a round he would rather just forget.
Morikawa has had a big year already, winning the season’s only major to this point, the PGA Championship, in addition to a title at the Workday Charity Classic where he chased down Justin Thomas and beat him in a playoff.
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Altogether, Morikawa has made 17 cuts in 19 starts. In addition to the two wins, he was runner-up at the Charles Schwab Challenge, tied for seventh at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, tied for ninth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and tied for 10th at the Safeway Open. That’s six top 10s in 19 starts, which is not too shabby.
However, there will be bad days on tour, especially on tough courses. And Morikawa suffered through one of those days on Thursday.
It didn’t start that way. Right out of the gate, Morikawa birdied the par-5 first hole, hitting the green in two and making a five-footer for birdie. On the par-4 second hole, he stuck his second shot about seven feet from the hole and ran the putt in to get to 2-under after just two holes.
Morikawa would par the third and fourth holes to stay at 2-under. But the fifth hole was the beginning of his troubles.
His tee shot landed in the right rough and he only advanced the ball about 60 feet with his second shot. His third shot left him in the right rough and his fourth shot got him to the fringe. He would two putt from there for a double bogey six, dropping him back to even par on the day.
After pars on six and seven, Morikawa found a greenside bunker on the par-3 eighth hole. It took him three to get in from there, and suddenly, he was 1-over par.
On the ninth hole, Morikawa was in the rough again. He was able to get on the green of the par four in three, but missed the putt and finished his front nine at 2-over par.
After a par on 10, Morikawa seemed to be playing the 11th hole well. He hit the fairway, then the green, but he three-putted for another bogey.
He would par the next four holes to stay at 3-over par. But he would close his round with three consecutive bogeys to finish with a 6-over par 76. It was the second-worse score that Morikawa has shot all season, topped only by the 77 he shot in the final round of the Memorial Tournament.
Morikawa sits in a tie for 60th place, out of 69 golfers, after one round in Chicago. Not the place he’s used to being, but also only nine shots behind leader Hideki Matsuyama. While the week is certainly not over for the 23-year-old, he needs to rally on Friday to stay within shouting distance of the lead.