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Morikawa Pulls Away in Bahamas, Takes Big Step Toward No. 1 | Sports News

By DOUG FERGUSON, AP Golf Writer

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) — Collin Morikawa chipped in for eagle and raced away from a 20-man discipline Saturday in the Hero World Challenge with an 8-under 64, constructing a five-shot lead and leaving him one spherical away from reaching No. 1 in the world.

Morikawa would keep on the prime of the rating for under every week based mostly on the two-year rolling system. Even so, solely 24 different gamers have reached No. 1 for the reason that rating started in 1986.

The man who has stayed No. 1 the longest — Tiger Woods — watched a lot of it unfold from the published sales space and he noticed a command efficiency.

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Morikawa had the primary bogey-free spherical of the week at Albany Golf Club, solely as soon as coming near a bogey on the again 9 as his pursuers could not sustain.

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Brooks Koepka fell again with a double bogey on the par-3 eighth gap and had two birdies the remainder of the way in which. On this present day, that allowed him to publish a 69 and transfer into the ultimate group.

“Just keep doing what I’m doing, play good and hope for the best,” Koepka mentioned.

Morikawa was at 18-under 198 as he tries to win his second straight begin. He is coming off a Sunday rally in Dubai to win the DP World Tour Championship, making him the primary American to be the No. 1 participant on the European Tour.

Not lengthy after Morikawa completed the opening gap in the ultimate group, a dozen or so spectators lingered behind and headed to the again of Albany’s follow vary to observe somebody who shouldn’t be a part of the 20-man discipline: Woods.

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He spent one other day hitting balls, this time with a driver, fueling hypothesis that 10 months after his automotive crash that badly broken his proper leg, he may tee it up in two weeks on the PNC Championship with 12-year-old son Charlie.

Tournament organizers are holding a spot in the sphere for him.

Woods wasn’t fairly able to decide to that, and a return to the PGA Tour remained simply as unsure as when he spoke to the media earlier in the week.

“I can hit it,” he mentioned in the NBC sales space through the match. “It just doesn’t go very far.” Leaning on one other joke, he mentioned he isn’t hitting it so brief that “I can hear it land.”

But he mentioned he has numerous work to do on his well being, and taking part in towards the perfect in golf remained a good distance off.

What he noticed on the course from Morikawa should have seemed acquainted, not a lot the ability however the precision and methodical means the 24-year-old Californian carved up Albany.

Also acquainted was how the remainder of the contenders peeled away.

Bryson DeChambeau began the third spherical with a one-shot lead and that was gone shortly. He hit a spectator in the back of the inexperienced, a superb break for him when it caromed again and rolled off a slope onto the placing floor about 15 ft. And then he three-putted for bogey.

He shot 73 and now could be eight photographs behind.

Sam Burns made a giant run with an eagle on the par-5 eleventh adopted by 4 straight birdies to get inside two photographs of Morikawa. But he took bogey on the par-3 seventeenth and completed his spherical with a double bogey for a 68 that left him six behind.

Daniel Berger recovered from a misplaced ball and double bogey on the par-5 third gap by making two eagles, solely to drop two photographs on the final three holes, together with a tee shot in the water hazard on the 18th. He had a 69, additionally six behind.

They have been joined in a tie for third with Viktor Hovland and Patrick Reed, who every had 67, and Tony Finau, who bogeyed two of his final three holes for a 70.

Rory McIlroy, who started the vacation occasion with a share of the lead, by no means had an opportunity to get into rivalry after taking a quadruple-bogey 9 on the eleventh gap. He had a 75.

The solely different spherical over par belonged to Jordan Spieth, taking part in for the primary time since changing into a father. His ball moved on the 18th inexperienced and he forgot to exchange it, resulting in a two-shot penalty and a 75.

More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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