Collin Morikawa scrambles around Harbour Town, shares RBC Heritage lead

Collin Morikawa had plenty of reason to smile wide on the 18th green on Friday.

He did not have his best stuff during the second round, yet he enters the weekend holding a share of the 36-hole lead at the RBC Heritage.

“Days like this where you don’t hit it as well, sometimes you think ahead, and sometimes you kind of wait for the next hole, and you wait for the next shot,” Morikawa said after his bogey-free 5-under 66.

“But I still have a lot of trust in the swing, so every shot, I had that opportunity. Whether it went right or wrong, I was able to kind of accept the fact and move on.”

Morikawa did not make a bogey on Friday because of his short game. He scrambled his way around Harbor Town, gaining 2.763 strokes around the greens during his second round. That mark ranked second in the field.

RBC Heritage, Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa chats with caddie Jonathan Jakovac during the second round of the 2024 RBC Heritage.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

He missed his approaches in the right spot, too, which undoubtedly helps on a course where trouble lurks almost everywhere—a staple of a Pete Dye layout.

“I hit it poorly, but the misses weren’t as bad, and the misses don’t put me in spots that cause me a lot of strokes,” Morikawa added.

“That’s what it’s about: minimizing those mistakes.”

“[My caddie Jonathan Jakovac] and I were pretty happy when we found it,” Morikawa said.

“It’s not like we created something new in the golf swing. It just all made sense. We tried to make a lot of things make sense for the past while, but sometimes things click, and it’s obviously clicked because it’s lasted more than a day.”

The two-time major champion has kept the nuances of his discovery to himself, and rightfully so. But whatever he found has certainly paid dividends since that Monday in Augusta.

Collin Morikawa, RBC Heritage

Collin Morikawa plays the 7th hole during the second round of the 2024 RBC Heritage.
Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

“Two or three months ago—or even two weeks ago—if I saw a couple of bad shots, it was like, what do I fix, what do I try, what do I do on this shot?” Morikawa said.

“You start to get ahead of yourself, and you forget that you have to hit every shot and you have to put yourself in those positions to even hit those approach shots.”

Morikawa did not hit many great shots on Friday, and the stats reflect that. He found 13-of-14 fairways but only eight greens in regulation. He lost 2.254 strokes approaching the green on Friday, which ranked 63rd out of 69 players in the field.

Yet, he missed in the right places, which allowed him to get up and down easily and avoid mistakes. Because of that, he now shares the lead with Tom Hoge, Sepp Straka, and J.T. Poston at 11-under par.

“Even if I didn’t go through this, I think with time you learn a lot,” Morikawa added.

“Sometimes you don’t need all those pieces, and today I didn’t have it, but that’s kind of old-school golf. I look back when I first turned pro, today was one of those days, didn’t feel great, didn’t hit it great, whatever, still posted a number and move on to the next couple days.”

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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