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Morikawa eyes No.1 after grabbing World Challenge lead


Collin Morikawa, searching for a victory to turn into world primary, fired an eight-under par 64 to grab a five-stroke lead after Saturday’s third spherical of the Hero World Problem.

The 24-year-old American made six birdies and an eagle chip-in to face on 18-under 198 after 54 holes within the 20-man invitational hosted by Tiger Woods on the Albany resort within the Bahamas.

“I am taking part in to my strengths. That is what I’ve to do,” Morikawa mentioned. “General I be ok with my sport to this point.

“I simply should exit and play the best way I’ve been and be prepared by gap one. Nothing goes to be a ‘gimme’ on the market.”

Reigning British Open champion Morikawa, who bought engaged earlier within the week, can overtake Spain’s Jon Rahm to succeed in the highest of the rankings for the primary time if he stays on high for an additional 18 holes.

“You aren’t getting in these spots each week,” Morikawa mentioned. “You need to benefit from it once you do. That is what I’ll attempt to do tomorrow.”

4-time main winner Brooks Koepka, ranked sixteenth, shot 69 to face second on 203 and be part of Morikawa in Sunday’s final pairing.

“Attempt to get off to a great begin. That is all I can do,” Koepka mentioned.

“5 again so I’ve bought to do one thing. It is at all times good to be within the final group, however nonetheless bought to play good. Simply preserve doing what I am doing and hope for the very best.”

A 3rd-place pack on 204 included Norway’s Viktor Hovland and Individuals Patrick Reed, Daniel Berger, Sam Burns and Tony Finau with Scottie Scheffler on 205 and fellow American Bryson DeChambeau, the 2020 US Open winner, on 206.

Morikawa, who additionally received a significant title on the 2020 PGA Championship, captured final month’s DP World Tour Championship, turning into the primary American to win the Race to Dubai and cementing his place as world quantity two.

“It feels good, simply piggybacking off a pair weeks in the past in Dubai,” Morikawa mentioned. “I am determining what I must do with my sport to be in rivalry extra.”

Morikawa chipped in for eagle on the par-5 third and birdied the fourth however missed a four-foot birdie putt on the par-4 seventh.

He escaped a bunkered tee shot to birdie the par-5 ninth and seize the lead alone on the flip at 14-under.

Morikawa rolled in an eight-foot birdie putt on the par-4 tenth and adopted with a four-foot birdie putt on the par-5 eleventh for a three-stroke lead at 16-under.

– ‘Room for enchancment’ –

Morikawa added birdies on the 14th and par-5 fifteenth — giving him three birdies and an eagle on the par-5s Saturday.

At 18, Morikawa blasted out of a greenside bunker to 3 toes and saved par to cap solely the fourth bogey-free spherical of the week.

“Chipping and placing has given me a giant lead by way of three rounds. I’ve to determine do the opposite issues higher,” Morikawa mentioned.

“I need to preserve getting higher. I feel there’s nonetheless quite a lot of room for enchancment.”

Burns was 4 adrift earlier than a closing double bogey whereas Finau and Berger have been 5 again earlier than making bogeys at 18.

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