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Morikawa shares US Open lead, Rahm and McIlroy one adrift

Two-time main winner Collin Morikawa of the USA fired a four-under par 66 to grab the lead late in Friday’s second spherical of the US Open. Picture: AFP

BROOKLINE: A weekend showdown of golf´s prime stars was set Friday on the US Open as two-time main winner Collin Morikawa seized a share of the lead whereas Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy have been one stroke adrift.

Seventh-ranked Morikawa fired a four-under par 66 and American Joel Dahmen, who shot 68, joined him on five-under 135 after 36 holes at The Nation Membership.

Second-ranked defending champion Rahm, third-ranked McIlroy and People Hayden Buckley, Aaron Sensible and Beau Hossler shared third on 136.

“Nobody has taken it deep thus far and run away,” Morikawa mentioned. “However you already know what, proper now my sport feels actually good.

“The previous couple of days is a large confidence booster for me heading into this weekend, and hopefully we will make some separation one way or the other.”

Morikawa gained final 12 months´s British Open and the 2020 PGA Championship and the 25-year-old American might discover himself 75% of the best way to a profession Grand Slam by Sunday night time.

“I can´t actually speak about what it might be prefer to win this one. I´ve acquired to concentrate on tomorrow,” Morikawa mentioned. “I´ve acquired to ensure I don´t run out of steam… I´ve simply acquired to determine a approach to focus a bit bit deeper and actually get dialed in for the subsequent 36.”

Beginning on the tenth tee, Morikawa made birdie putts of 10 toes on the twelfth gap, 13 toes on the par-5 14th, 14 toes on the seventeenth and 33 toes on the first.

After his lone bogey on the fourth, Morikawa dropped his second shot on the par-4 eighth 4 toes from the cup however missed his eagle putt and settled for birdie.

“I knew the tempo was a bit off,” Morikawa mentioned. “It simply occurred to be a nasty stroke. So I´m not too nervous about it actually.”

McIlroy, who endured a double-bogey catastrophe on the third gap, sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the twelfth, drove the inexperienced in two to arrange a tap-in birdie on the par-5 14th and sank a 12-foot birdie putt at 17.

“I´m in a great place,” McIlroy mentioned. “I´m actually pleased with the place my sport is at and I feel that´s a very powerful factor.”

McIlroy, chasing his first main title since 2014, comes off a victory in final week´s PGA Canadian Open. Not since 1934 has a participant gained the week earlier than after which captured the US Open.

“I’ve to exit with the mindset this week that I´m going to attempt to win my first once more,” McIlroy mentioned. “I´m taking part in pretty much as good a golf as I´ve performed in a very long time.”

High-ranked Masters champion Scottie Scheffler, with an eagle and two birdies within the final six holes, was on 137.

“I simply stayed actual affected person,” mentioned Scheffler. “If just a few putts had gone in as a substitute of round, it might have been a very special occasion.”

Rahm, a back-nine starter, holed a 12-foot eagle putt on the par-5 14th, drove the inexperienced to arrange a birdie on the par-4 fifth and chipped from the tough forward of a tap-in birdie at eight.

“It´s nice for the sport of golf that the highest-ranked gamers and the most effective gamers are up there,” Rahm mentioned. “It´s enjoyable for all of us as a result of all of us wish to compete in opposition to the most effective and beat the most effective.”

Dahmen, 34, gained his solely PGA title final 12 months within the Dominican Republic. He missed a 10-foot birdie putt at 18 that might have given him the lead alone.

“It´s all type of a blur, which might be a great factor,” Dahmen mentioned. “Dealt with nerves fairly properly on the market. It´s going to be fairly a weekend.”

– Mickelson misses lower –

Six-time main winner Phil Mickelson missed the lower on 11-over 151. The 52-year-old US lefthander was amongst 15 rebels from the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Sequence dealing with US PGA Tour stars.

US main champions Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed have been the most effective of the LIV gamers within the area on 141, with Bryson DeChambeau and Richard Bland additionally making the lower on 142. However LIV gamers have been a mixed 53-over on Thursday and 36-over on Friday.

With the richest purses in golf historical past, LIV Golf has lured expertise from the PGA Tour, which banned 17 present and former members final week after they performed LIV´s debut occasion in England.

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