HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC – Collin Morikawa’s abundant talents have been well documented: supreme ball forward, precise pilot, high-level mental play, fearless play, rise in hand.
Add another – short term memory.
“I had already forgotten,” Morikawa said Friday after the second round of RBC Heritage at Harbor Town Golf Links.
“It was” in reference to a difficult day on the small greens. The reigning PGA champion’s putting turned a round that could have been as low as 63 in the 68 he signed for, a score that still kept him on the top of the table.
“Everything was fine. Just was probably at about a foot of speed all day, ”he said. “I could have had five, six more birds there. If I hit it with a little more rhythm, I might have more birds there.
“But overall when you have a round without a bogey you do a lot of good things so hopefully keep the mistakes out of the game and have a low weekend.
Morikawa missed five birdie chances within 12 feet, his most frustrating green being the second where he had 49 feet for the eagle and three putts. Yet among the early leaders, the world No.4 was well positioned to win his fifth PGA Tour title as he stood two shots behind pace thrower Corey Conners, who added a 64 to his first 67 for. be located at 11.
“After having three out of two putts, I knew there was still a lot of birdie opportunity and I just had to keep hitting good shots. I mean, I kept doing that, which was good. I didn’t play too aggressively when I didn’t need to, ”he said. “It was hard not to see some birdies. I had sort of a lucky birdie on 6, but we’ll be working on a few things and everything will be fine for the weekend.
“Although my speed wasn’t great today, overall my putting went well. When I am on the putt, everything is confident. I had a lot of putts today that seemed to come in; just fell a bit short. So it has to continue, for the ball to keep hitting, but everything feels really good.
Morikawa was tied for 64th on his maiden trip to Harbor Town last year and the course looks perfectly suited – small greens, narrow, tree-lined fairways that reward precision. While Morikawa thinks he can win at any course, he certainly doesn’t mind seeing courses like Harbor Town.
“When you show up at a course like this with smaller greens, yeah, it gives you a little boost of confidence knowing that you can get a little edge over some of the other guys,” he said. “But you still have to make the putts. They were driving yesterday; I didn’t have that many today.