US Open 2024: Collin Morikawa enters big battle as Scottie Scheffler disappears at Pinehurst No. 2 | Golf news

Collin Morikawa has refused to give up hope of winning the US Open after coming into contention at Pinehurst No 2, a course Shane Lowry described as “mental torture” for players.

The two-time major champion went into the weekend trailing by nine, having only one shot to spare, but blazed through the field with a brilliant bogey-free 66 on Saturday morning.

Morikawa birdied his opening hole of the day and added three more on the back, moving him level for the tournament and within five strokes of halfway leader Ludvig Åberg – who had yet to tee off on a day when the majority of the field struggled to break par.

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Morikawa is on the hunt for a fourth major title

Asked what his goal would be on Sunday, Morikawa – who could move three-quarters of the way to a Grand Slam career – said: “To win. If I play like I did today, who knows what could happen. This course is only going to get more difficult.

“I know it won’t be easy. Today wasn’t easy at all. I just put it in the right spot, kept the ball in front of me and played very simple golf.

“I’ve had ups and downs, a lot of putting from the edge. I only made the putts I needed. Yesterday I think I missed everything I could have made. The first day was a bit of both, so that It was also nice to see putts going in.

“I hope to build on that a little bit. Look, honestly, I tried to achieve that today, so happy.”

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Scheffler considers the schedule change after a “frustrating” week

Scottie Scheffler was a heavy favorite to claim his third major title, coming into the week on the back of his fifth win of the season in the Memorial Tournament, hosted by Jack Nicklaus, although he admitted he was feeling the effects of a grueling weekend. at Muirfield Village.

“I think in terms of prep work for a week that I know is going to be as tough as this one, I’m leaning towards maybe not playing the week before,” Scheffler said after a third round of 71. around Jack’s house , which can seem pretty close to a US Open setup, especially as it played over the weekend.

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Highlights from the final day of The Memorial Tournament on Sunday, where Scottie Scheffler held on for a fifth PGA Tour win of the season

“I took most of the damage there at the start of the week under par, so I think if I go to the major championships, especially the ones that we know will be very challenging, it might be in my interest to week not to play earlier. Those are things I will have to find out later in the year.

The 27-year-old, who reached the halfway mark of five over par on Friday after a birdie-free 74, hit two birdies and three bogeys on Saturday to post an over par for the first time in the fourth consecutive round of his great career.

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We take a closer look at Scheffler’s US Open stats during the third round and explain why they are underperforming for the world number 1

“Another frustrating day,” Scheffler added. “Today was a day where I thought I played much better than my score. I’m having a lot of trouble reading these greens. I had a lot of putts today where I felt like I was hitting the ball really well. I looked up and they didn’t go the way I thought they would.

“I felt like I hit it really nicely the last 27 holes I played, but I just wasn’t able to hit it close enough, which is difficult on this course.”

Lowry: Level par could win in Pinehurst ‘mental torture’

Lowry predicted that level par would have a strong chance of winning the US Open after experiencing “absolute mental torture” in the third round, where he carded three birdies and three bogeys in a round of 70 to remain at five points.

“It’s torture out there, honestly it’s absolute mental torture,” said the former Open champion. “That’s the best level par I’ve ever shot in my life. Every shot you make, even if you hit a good shot, the putts you have, it’s extremely difficult.

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Shane Lowry makes back-to-back birdies with a sensational holeout from the bunker during the third round of the US Open

“You’re standing in the middle of the fairway on par fours with an eight-iron in hand and you’re thinking ‘right, where am I going to miss this’ instead of thinking where I’m going to hit it. It’s not that crazy to be there honestly.

“It’s clearly firmer than the last few days. It’s much windier. The wind is in a different direction, so some of the par fours are very long. You really have to find your way there and I did a great job today.”

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