ATLANTA – It was not the start that Collin Morikawa wanted.
From 173 yards on East Lake’s first hole, the 23-year-old phenom dumped his 6-iron approach shot into a greenside bunker.
“Yeah, obviously I was playing for it to be plugged in the right bunker. Who wouldn’t?” Morikawa laughed following his third round of the Tour Championship.
He could laugh about the situation only after one of the day’s most dramatic recoveries. From 47 feet and with his ball plugged just below the lip of the bunker, Morikawa gouged his third shot onto the green and into the hole.
We’ll let Morikawa explain:
“If you’re going to have it plug in a bunker, you kind of want it on a lip because you can just hit it hard and it’s going to pop straight up. Granted, it’s not like I had an easy shot there, and I was really just trying to get it below the hole to the left, 5, 10 feet for par,” he said. “I hit it, got a great bounce, and from that point it just looked like it was going to go in. Yeah, wow, what a shot.”
The rest of Morikawa’s day was equally eventful. Following bogeys at Nos. 3, 4 and 7, he rebounded with six birdies over his last 10 holes for a third-round 67 and was alone in fifth place and seven shots off the lead.