Masters 2024: Collin Morikawa ‘not scared’ of chasing Scottie Scheffler

Home » Masters 2024: Collin Morikawa ‘not scared’ of chasing Scottie Scheffler
Masters 2024 third-round leaderboard
-7 Scheffler (US); -6 Morikawa (US); -5 Homa (US); -4 Aberg (Swe); -3 DeChambeau (US); -2 Hojgaard (Den), Schauffele (US), Davis (Aus)
Selected others:-1 Fleetwood (Eng); +1 Fitzpatrick (Eng); +3 McIlroy (NI), Zalatoris (US), Hatton (Eng), Willett (Eng); +5 Rahm (Spa); +11 Woods (US)

Collin Morikawa says chasing world number one Scottie Scheffler in Sunday’s final round of the Masters at Augusta National “doesn’t scare” him.

The two-time major champion is one shot behind the leader after carding a three-under 69 to improve to six under.

Fellow American Max Homa and talented Swedish debutant Ludvig Aberg are two and three shots back respectively.

“I truly believe in what I can do”, Morikawa said after an enthralling third round in Georgia.

Morikawa burst onto the scene when he won the 2020 US PGA Championship on only his second appearance in a major.

He backed that up by taking The Open at Royal St George’s in 2021 but has only won once on the PGA Tour since.

As the sole player to shoot all three rounds under par so far this week, it seems he has managed to unlock his game at just the right time.

He will likely need to operate at his best on Sunday to overhaul the world’s top ranked player in Scheffler, who has won two of his previous three events.

“It’s been a struggle the past few years,” Morikawa said. “I had to search and I had to find something. It hasn’t [always] been fun but it’s been fun to learn about the game and about myself.

“Scottie is the number one player in the world for a reason and what he’s done is incredible.

“But it doesn’t scare me. I still know my best and what I truly believe I can do.”

Morikawa will be in the final group with the 2022 Masters champion – teeing off at 19:35 BST – after Scheffler navigated a rollercoaster round of one-under 71.

After chipping in for a birdie on the first and holing a huge birdie putt on the third, he double bogeyed the 10th and made bogey on the 11th to fall three off the lead.

However, he let out an uncharacteristic roar of triumph after sinking an eagle putt from 31 feet on the 13th and birdied the final hole to ensure he took the outright lead into Sunday.

“You saw a bit of emotion there from me because it was an important time in the tournament,” he said. “It was nice to be able to steal a couple of shots back.

“The golf course was extremely challenging and difficult. I’m definitely excited about [Sunday].”

As for Aberg, who will play in the penultimate group, this is not only his inaugural Masters, it is his first major tournament altogether having only turned professional in June 2023.

He was part of Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup team in October and, at three shots back, he will play the final round seeking to become the first debutant to win since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.

“I think about it all the time,” he said. “Obviously I am a competitor and I want to win tournaments.”

The 24-year-old said he had been taking “calculated risks” but was being “disciplined towards targets” as he plotted his way round.

“I don’t think you should shy away from it. I try to embrace it and be OK with all that comes with it,” he added.

Meanwhile, Bryson DeChambeau, who was sole first-round leader and joint halfway leader, believes he has a “good opportunity” to add to his 2020 US Open triumph win a first Masters title.

He had three three-putts on a ragged back nine that saw him drop from top of the leaderboard to five off the pace before holing from 77 yards for an unlikely birdie on the last to leave him four back.

“It’s very difficult to chase, but I’m going to take what I can on this golf course where I can,” he said.

“But I’ve got to make some putts.”

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