Collin Morikawa said he “loves” the pressure of heading into the fourth round of the British Open in the final pairing and with a chance to win golf’s oldest major at his first attempt.
The 24-year-old American ended Saturday’s third round at Royal St George’s just a shot behind leader Louis Oosthuizen.
Not only is this Morikawa’s first British Open, it is also just his second event in the UK following last week’s Scottish Open.
But he has taken quickly to links or seaside conditions, with a round of 68, backing up a superb 64 on Friday taking Morikawa to 11 under par.
“I don’t have much experience on links golf, and pretty much all the highlights in my head are from this week,” said Morikawa, who already has one major title to his credit — the 2020 US PGA.
“Hopefully, we can just use that momentum from the first three days and bring it into the last 18 (holes). It’s going to be a grueling 18, but I look forward to it.
“It’s position you want to be in. As an athlete, golfer, you want to be in this position. I love it, so I really look forward to tomorrow.”
Morikawa could easily have been derailed by a nervous start to his round on Saturday that saw him hit into bunkers on both his opening holes and drop two shots through six.
However, he quickly regained his composure and superb touch with his irons to to birdie eight and nine.
Another pair of back-to-back birdies at the 13th and 14th put him in a great position to challenge for the Claret Jug.
Morikawa was two strokes off the lead heading into the final round of the US PGA last year when he produced a stunning six under round of 64 to win by two shots.
“I think the biggest thing I can draw from the PGA is just knowing I can get it done,” he added.
“But I think confidence just comes from hitting good shots, quality shots, seeing putts go in. There is a lot to draw from, especially this week.”
©️ Agence France-Presse