July 11, 2020 / 2:27 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Golf-Morikawa tames stormy Muirfield to extend lead

(Adds end of round results)

July 10 (Reuters) - Collin Morikawa had never played Muirfield Village Golf Club before this week but one would hardly know by looking at his scorecard as he moved into a three-shot, second-round 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 dangerous weather. 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, three shots clear of Justin Thomas (66) and Kevin Streelman (64), whose afternoon rounds were also interrupted by a weather delay.

Sam Burns (66) and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (68) lurked four back of the rising 23-year-old Morikawa, who had made 22 consecutive cuts to start his pro career before missing his first two weeks ago at the Travelers Championship.

He has bounced back in a big way at Muirfield.

“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 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.

Among those likely to miss the cut in the round, which was called for darkness with a handful of players still in the field, were world number six Brooks Koepka, three time major champion Jordan Spieth and Englishman Justin Rose.

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 and Rory Carroll; Editing by Toby Davis)

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