2022 US Open leaderboard breakdown: Collin Morikawa and Jon Rahm rise to the top as Rory McIlroy holds


2022 US Open leaderboard breakdown: Collin Morikawa and Jon Rahm rise to the top as Rory McIlroy holds

History would always be made in Brookline, Massachusetts this week. That was inevitable. However, the Boston faithful could not have imagined a better ranking for the weekend at the 2022 US Open. While defending champion Jon Rahm and four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy are firmly contested by just one shot off the lead, it’s the name at the top that has the potential to make for a truly stunning moment next Sunday.

That name belongs to Collin Morikawa, who fired a 4-under 66 on Friday to make 5-under for the championship and take the lead alongside Joel Dahmen. Morikawa, 25, appears to have been on TV for ten years, but in reality this week’s US Open marks just the 11th appearance at a major championship of his career.

In his 10 previous starts of this nature, Morikawa has achieved amazing 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 career start can be made even more memorable with a win at the country club.

Three Major wins in 11 starts would be unprecedented given the depth of talent in golf – for reference, it took Jordan Spieth 19 games to make his three – and the ability to win those Majors in three wildly different environments would all make up the more impressive performance . Make no mistake, though: Morikawa faces a battle through the final 36 holes with the likes of McIlroy, Rahm and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler all within shouting distance.

While that example wouldn’t be like his last two triumphs, as Morikawa has yet to gain a 36-hole lead in his big career – add that to his list of accomplishments – and some continue to like his putting, or his inexplicable lack of it doubting confidence in his iron game, history suggests Morikawa will be fine.

T1 Collin Morikawa and Joel Dahmen (-5): Last year, Morikawa couldn’t figure out the terrain in Scotland. He went on to win the Open Championship. This year he is unable to hit his patented fade with his irons. Lo and behold, he’s in the middle for his third major title. Not only would he continue his incredible pace on golf’s greatest stage, but a win would put Morikawa within one Masters victory of ending a career grand slam. While the irons were good but not great, he made a name for himself with his performance on the greens. He’d dropped his putter every start since the Masters, and so far this week at The Country Club he’s gained more than three shots with the flat.

T3. Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Aaron Wise, Hayden Buckley and Beau Hossler (-4): Rahm played alongside Morikawa for the first two days and was likely overshadowed by him. Still, the defending champion is in an enviable position and has a fantastic chance to follow in Brooks Koepka’s footsteps by winning back-to-back US Opens. It’s no surprise that Rahm leads the field in shots from the tee, as he’s the best in the world in that department by a considerable margin; However, the improvement he has shown on the green this week has the potential to lead him to another major triumph.

T8. Scottie Scheffler, Nick Hardy, Matthew NeSmith, Patrick Rodgers and Brian Harman (-3): With the swing of his birdie-birdie finish on Thursday, Scheffler is safe looked like the number 1 in the world on Friday. Although it didn’t start smoothly, the Texan put on the best approach performance of his career from a shots-winning perspective. Ultimately, Scheffler signs for a 3-under-67 and will be a contender for Sunday’s back nine as long as his short game is able to reflect his statistical output the rest of the way. He currently ranks first in strokes won, third in strokes won from tee to green, and sixth in strokes won from tee, and he 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 to sign for a 67 in the morning wave and the next logical step in his career is competing in a major championship this weekend. He can tick that off the list as he’s firmly in the mix of this championship and should love his chances to move forward. A three-time PGA Tour winner this season, a win this week would draw him alongside his good friend Scheffler. The LSU product only hit 15 fairways in the first two rounds, so he likely needs to improve in that department to create more scoring chances.

T16. Xander Schauffele, Will Zalatoris, Davis Riley and four others (-1): His US Open résumé is fantastic on paper, but this is Schauffele’s best opportunity yet. In his five previous top 10 finishes he really had to struggle; However, with 36 holes remaining, he’s only four strokes off pace. The names he has to skip are some of the biggest in the game, but if there’s ever been a single instance where he’s shed the doubt and reputation surrounding his name, it’s this week.

T24. Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Brandon Matthews and four others (E): Really impressive bounce back round for the two-time US Open champion as he now has rounds of 73-67 under his belt. Koepka was his typical self with the media after his second round, as the chip on his shoulder kind of increased tenfold. Just four men have beaten him in his last four US Open appearances and he has plenty to do if he doesn’t want to contribute significantly to that total. An improvement around the green would be huge as this is the only area of ​​his game that has held him back for 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 eventually signing for a 2-over-72. At the Players Championship, the PGA Championship and now the US Open, the two-time Major winner has lost out at the End of the Stick when it comes to the weather at some of the season’s biggest events. He’s just six shots from the lead, and given the firepower in his arsenal, he’s still in this thing, although there’s little room for error now.

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