Morikawa's "moving day"

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Saturday's third round generally features advancements by various players. M. James Ward outlines the only golfer who did so and what a green jacket can mean.
Posted on
April 14, 2024
by
M. James Ward in ,
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

AUGUSTA, GA. The Masters is a 72-hole tournament and when weekend play takes place it has been Saturday's "moving day" when players trailing make moves up the leaderboard and position themselves for the final 18 on Sunday.

For the 88th Masters that "moving day" was limited to one player – Collin Morikawa. Morikawa is the only player to have scored under-par each day on rounds of 71-70-69. He will play in the final pairing today with world-number-one Scottie Scheffler.

The 27-year-old has been generally invisible this year. At the conclusion of 2023 the two-time major winner was ranked 13th in the World. That position has now fallen to 20th.

In seven starts prior to the Masters he had only one top five finish and that came in the limited field event at the Sentry in Hawaii.

Morikawa's familiarity with Augusta National is apparent as he finished in the top ten the last two years.

Securing a green jacket would give the talented player a win in three different majors after securing past triumphs at the 2020 PGA Championship and 2021 Open Championship.

Highly touted as one of the best iron players in golf, the main concern at various times has been an inconsistent putter.

Morikawa opted to make a change for this year's event and the results have been present.

Morikawa's only downside to Saturday's round was not taking advantage of the two par-5s on the inward half. He reached the 13th in two shots but then three-putted for par. At the 15th he played a brilliant approach to eight-feet and missed again.

Morikawa's golf game does not feature long tee shots like Bryson DeChambeau or a stylish flair like Rory McIlroy or Jon Rahm but the results show a steady performer in the biggest of events.

This year's Masters marks his 17th major championship. He has finished first twice with five top ten placements and only three missed cuts.

In a word – steady defines Morikawa.

Collin's performance at Augusta is even more remarkable given his tee shot distance is only average (288 yards) when compared to others on the PGA TOUR-- 154th place.

His game focuses on placement and securing the right position to play shots.

Today's final round with Scheffler will be an interesting combination of players. Since 2014, with only one exception, the winner of the green jacket has come out of the final pairing.

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About M. James Ward

A GWAA and MGWA member, the 66-year-old from the USA has covered golf in all facets since 1980, notably the major championships and other high level events. He has played over 2,000 courses globally and has competed in USGA Championships.

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