Morikawa Shoots 66, Takes 2-Shot Lead Over Scheffler, Spaun in Sentry TOC

Collin Morikawa putted his way into a two-stroke lead in the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

The 25-year-old Morikawa, from La Canada Flintridge and Cal, posted a bogey-free, 7-under par 66 and took a two-stroke lead over second-ranked Scottie Scheffler and J.J. Spaun in the 71st Sentry TOC in breezy conditions on the Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort and Spa on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

“Before, when I was putting, it was like it was guess work,” said the 11th-ranked Morikawa. “But I have figured things out with the short stick and I putted very well today. Back then, I thought I was doing something, but in reality it was something else. I just have answers now.

“Just similar to yesterday, it was pretty solid and I made some good putts. Obviously, it played a lot harder with kind of the wind today, and just the fairways rolling pretty fast, so you end up in a lot of spots where you’re just going to end up in the rough.

“You’ve just got to play shots and kind of hit them to good spots, and thankfully we were able to take advantage of enough holes today to kind of keep those birdies going.”

Morikawa, who was in a three-way tie for the lead after an opening 64, birdied four of the first five holes in round two and added three birdies on the back nine to record a bogey-free total of 16-under 130 after 36 holes.

Scheffler collected eight birdies including four in a row at the finish for a 66, and Spaun, from Los Angeles and San Diego State, who also was tied for the lead after an opening 64, made three birdies on each nine in a 68.

“(Morikawa) played good, just very solid,” Spaun said of his playing partner in  round two. “I don’t think he made a bogey. He’s a ball-striker, obviously. With conditions where it’s windy and pins are kind of in spots where you got to be really precise with your distance control and trajectory, it’s tailor-made for him.

“I just tried to keep up with him.”

Jordan Spieth, who won the Sentry TOC in 2016, eagled the fifth and 15th holes en route to a 66 and is three shots behind in solo fourth, followed another stroke down by Tom Kim of South Korea, who made his sixth eagle on the last hole for a 69.

Fifth-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, who also was tied for the first-round lead at 64, carded an up-and-down 71 and is tied for sixth with ninth-ranked Matt Fitzpatrick of England, who holed out for an eagle from 22 feet on the 15th hole in his 69.

Luke List birdied four of the last five holes for a 65 and six down on a tie for seventh with Corey Conners of Canada, who birdied four of the last five holes for a 68 on his 31st birthday, Tony Finau, who capped his 69 with three birdies on the last four holes, and Aaron Wise of Lake Elsinore, who made four birdies on the back nine in a 70.

Seventh-ranked Will Zalatoris is tied for 18th after a second straight 69, 10th-ranked Viktor Hovland of Norway collected five birdied on the back nine in a 70 and is tied for 22nd following a 72, while fourth-ranked Patrick Cantlay of Los Alamitos and UCLA holed out from 55 yards on the 15th hole in a second straight 70 and is in a tie for 27th that includes eight-ranked Justin Thomas, a two-time Sentry TOC champion, who made three birdies on the front nine and also had a second consecutive 70.

Sixth-ranked Xander Schauffele of La Jolla and San Diego State, the 2019 Sentry TOC champion who opened with a 70, was one-over for the day through eight holes when he withdrew from the tournament because of a lower left back injury.

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