July 10, 2020 / 6:56 PM / 25 days ago

Golf-Morikawa tames Muirfield to grab six-shot clubhouse lead

July 10 (Reuters) - Collin Morikawa had never played Muirfield Village Golf Club prior to this week but one would hardly know by looking at his scorecard as he moved into a six-shot, second-round clubhouse lead at the Workday Charity Open in Dublin, Ohio on Friday.

Morikawa, who began the day with a one-shot lead, was four under after 15 holes when play was halted for 77 minutes due to a dangerous weather situation and after the break he added two more birdies for a six-under 66 to reach 13 under on the week.

That left the world number 29 Morikawa, whose two-day total marked the second lowest in course history, six shots clear of Englishman Ian Poulter (69) while former Masters champion Patrick Reed (70) was a further shot adrift.

“We talk about the course, I think it does fit my eye,” Morikawa said of the Jack Nicklaus-designed layout. “I’ve been able to put myself, leave myself some really good numbers into approach shots. I’ve been keeping myself in the fairway for the most part, and that obviously helps.”

Morikawa, who began his day on the back nine, reached the turn at one under after mixing three birdies with two bogeys. He caught fire at the par-four second when he made the first of four consecutive birdies.

The American then needed four shots to reach the green at the par-four sixth hole, where he went on to make a bogey before play was interrupted.

Canadian Adam Hadwin, who was one shot back of Morikawa after the first round, was among the late starters.

Two-times major winner Zach Johnson, who was two back of Morikawa after the first round, and world number five Justin Thomas, who was three back, were also in the afternoon wave.

This week’s event was added to the PGA Tour’s calendar in place of the John Deere Classic, which was supposed to be held in Illinois but was cancelled due to state-related challenges regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. (Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto Editing by Toby Davis)

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