2023 Tournament of Champions rankings: Collin Morikawa extends his lead before the final round

2023 Tournament of Champions rankings: Collin Morikawa extends his lead before the final round

2023 Tournament of Champions rankings: Collin Morikawa extends his lead before the final round

It was a dominating effort from Collin Morikawa through the first 54 holes of the 2023 Tournament of Champions. Still bogey-free around the Plantation course in Kapalua this week, the 25-year-old sits at 24 under and turned his two-time lead of Friday evening in a lead of six times before the last day of competition.

Momentarily caught at the start of his third lap, Morikawa responded in a way we haven’t seen in some time. With fellow player Scottie Scheffler converting an unlikely eagle opportunity on the par-5 5th, the two were tied at 16 under. Morikawa then connected from 11 feet to keep his own eagle in front by two shots and wouldn’t look back from there.

Playing the final 13 holes four strokes behind Scheffler, Morikawa added distance between himself and a group that also includes Matt Fitzpatrick and JJ Spaun at under 18. With 10 of the last 15 winners in Kapalua possessing pole position heading into the final round, Morikawa is in a very comfortable position with just 18 holes to play.

The leader

1. Collin Morikawa (-24)

Curiously, it’s been over 12 months since Morikawa held a 54-hole lead in tournament golf. Squandering an opportunity last summer at the US Open halfway through, we have to go back to the 2021 World Hero Classic for the most recent example of Morikawa entering the final round with a lead.

Had Morikawa won that day in the Bahamas he would have moved up to world No. 1 but instead wondered what might have been after a terrible performance saw him give up an advantage in five beats. This time around should be smooth sailing given Kapalua’s forgiving nature and level of comfort found on the greens.

Other suitors

T2. Scottie Scheffler, JJ Spaun, Matt Fitzpatrick (-18)

T5. Jon Rahm, Tom Kim (-17)

T7. Max Homa, Sungjae Im (-16)

T9. Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, KH Lee, Brian Harman (-15)

While he may not chase Morikawa down the line, Scheffler remains in a strong position to reclaim the world No. 1 title. Needing a two-way tie for third best, the Texan has some wiggle room to work on heading into the final round, but will need to see improvements with the putter. Scheffler ranks 26th this week in putts and has been buoyed by his stellar play from tee to green where he leads the pack.

Max Homa hits the trick of the week

The five-time PGA Tour winner was the first player to hit double figures under par in a single round this week in Kapalua. Signing for a 10-under 63, Homa not only has the lowest round in the tournament, but played himself on the front page of the leaderboard.

“I do not know [what went so well today]. I didn’t make any mistakes throughout the day, regarding, for example, stupid mistakes,” Homa said. Bogeys here and there are going to happen… So today I just didn’t do that. I did a great job. Even on 9 I kind of dropped my throw and ran it up and down for par.

“It was a big moment for me,” he continued. “So the ball went in the hole today. I really hadn’t done anything until maybe the back nine yesterday. I don’t really know how to explain it. I didn’t have the felt like I played four shots better than my last two days combined, but I did. So it’s just not a very good game for your mind. But it was good to shoot 10 under.

Cameron Young learns a hard lesson

It’s not often that a professional golfer looks like an amateur, but the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year did just that on the par-5 15th Saturday. On the green in two, Young’s eagle attempt missed the hole … then missed the green completely. Adding insult to injury, he was unable to put his next shot on the green and eventually bogeyed. A tough pill for the tournament newbie to swallow.

2023 Tournament of Champions Odds and Picks Update

  • Collin Morikawa: 1/5
  • Scottie Scheffler: 12-1
  • Matt Fitzpatrick: 20-1
  • Jon Rahm: 25-1
  • JJ Spaun: 45-1
  • Tom Kim: 50-1

If you want to drop the juice with Morikawa, be my guest because the price always seems a bit light. Other than that, the best course of action may be to do nothing at all. In all likelihood, Morikawa converts his 54-hole lead into a win, making any further bets illogical.

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