ADVERTISEMENT

US Open 2022 Leaderboard Breakdown: Collin Morikawa, Jon Rahm rise to the top as Rory McIlroy hangs on

ADVERTISEMENT

History was always going to be made this week in Brookline, Massachusetts. That was unavoidable. However, the Boston faithful could not have imagined a better ranking table heading into the weekend at the US Open 2022. While defending champion Jon Rahm and four-time Grand Slam winner Rory McIlroy are firmly in contention sitting just one shot off the lead, it’s the name at the top that has the potential to produce a truly jaw-dropping moment on Sunday.

That name belongs to Collin Morikawa, who shot a 4-under 66 on Friday to go 5-under for the championship and command the co-lead with Joel Dahmen. Apparently, the 25-year-old Morikawa has been on television for the past decade, but in reality, this week’s US Open marks only the 11th major championship appearance of his career.

In his previous 10 starts, Morikawa captured astonishing milestones, including a win on his PGA Championship debut and another on his Open Championship debut last summer at Royal St. George’s. A once-in-a-lifetime start to a race can be made even more memorable with a win at The Country Club.

ADVERTISEMENT

Three major wins in 11 starts would be unprecedented given the depth of talent in the game of golf, for reference: Jordan Spieth needed 19 starts to get his three, and the ability to win those majors on three entirely different stages would do it all. the most impressive feat. Make no mistake though: Morikawa will have a battle over the back 36 holes with names like McIlroy, Rahm and World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler all within a stone’s throw.

While this instance would not be like his last two wins, as Morikawa has yet to take a 36-hole lead in his main career, add that to his list of accomplishments, and some may continue to doubt his putting or his unexplained lack of confident in his iron play, history suggests Morikawa will be fine.

T1. Collin Morikawa and Joel Dahmen (-5): Last year, Morikawa could not understand the territory of Scotland. He then went on to win the Open Championship. This year, he can’t hit his patent fade with his irons. Lo and behold, he’s right in the mix for his third major title. Not only would she continue his incredible pace on golf’s biggest stage, but with a win, Morikawa would be one Masters victory away from completing the Grand Slam of his career. While the irons have been good, not great, he has made his mark with his performance on the greens. He had missed strokes with his putter in every start since the Masters, and so far this week at The Country Club, he has won more than three strokes with the flat club.

T3. Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Aaron Wise, Hayden Buckley and Beau Hossler (-4): Rahm played alongside Morikawa the first two days and was probably overshadowed by him. Still, the defending champion is in an enviable position and has a fantastic opportunity to follow in Brooks Koepka’s footsteps by winning back-to-back US Opens. It’s no surprise that Rahm is leading the field in tee shots gained, as he is the best in the world in that department by a considerable margin; however, the improvement he has shown around the green this week has the potential to propel him to another big win.

T8. Scottie Scheffler, Nick Hardy, Matthew NeSmith, Patrick Rodgers and Brian Harman (-3): Buoyed by his birdie-birdie finish on Thursday, Scheffler sure he looked like number 1 in the world on Friday. While it didn’t start off smoothly, the Texan put together the best approach performance of his career from a winning perspective. Ultimately signing for a three-under 67, Scheffler will be in the conversation on the back nine on Sunday, as long as his short game can mirror his benchmark statistical output the rest of the way. He currently ranks first in approach shots earned, third in tee-to-green shots earned and sixth in tee-to-green shots earned, and is outside the top 80 both on and around the green.

T13. Sam Burns, Matt Fitzpatrick, Adam Hadwin and Beau Hossler (-2): Burns was one of three players signed for a 67 on the morning wave, and the next logical step in his career progression is weekend contention in a major championship. He can cross that off the list as he is firmly in the mix for this championship and will love his chances moving forward. A three-time PGA Tour winner this season, a victory this week would put him alongside his good friend Scheffler in the yearly total. The LSU product has only gotten to 15 fairways in the first two rounds, so he likely needs to improve in this department to generate more scoring opportunities.

T16. Xander Schauffele, Will Zalatoris, Davis Riley and four others (-1): His US Open resume is fantastic on paper, but it presents the best opportunity to date for Schauffele. In his previous five top-10 finishes, he had yet to really compete; however, with 36 holes remaining, he is just four shots off pace. The names he’ll need to overcome are some of the biggest in the game, but if ever there was a single instance where she could dispel the doubt and reputation surrounding his name, it’s this week.

T24. Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Brandon Matthews and four others (E): Really impressive comeback round for the two-time US Open champion as he now has rounds of 73-67 under his belt. Koepka was the typical me with the media after his second round, as the chip on his shoulder somehow went up tenfold. Only four men have beaten him in his last four US Open appearances and he has a lot of work ahead of him if he doesn’t want to substantially increase that total. An improvement around the green would be huge given that it is the only area of ​​his game that has slowed him down in 36 holes.

T31. Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Joaquin Niemann and six others (+1): I can only imagine how frustrated Thomas is after opening his second round with a double bogey and finally going 2 over 72. At The Players Championship, PGA Championship and now the US Open, the two-time Grand Slam winner received the short end of the stick when it comes to weather bias in some of the season’s biggest events. He’s just six shots off the lead, and given the firepower in his arsenal, he’s still in it, though there’s little room for error now.

sniloans