2023 Tournament of Champions standings: Collin Morikawa splits in second round in Kapalua

2023 Tournament of Champions standings: Collin Morikawa splits in second round in Kapalua

2023 Tournament of Champions standings: Collin Morikawa splits in second round in Kapalua

The 2023 Tournament of Champions may not have a winner from the 2021/22 season topping the leaderboard, but a prolific winner nonetheless. Collin Morikawa leads the Solos at 16 under half at Kapalua’s Plantation Course as the two-time major champion looked rejuvenated with putter in hand.

Morikawa’s putter has been a top three-iron player on the PGA Tour in each of the last three seasons and has often been the key to victory. If he putts well, he seriously threatens to enter the winners’ circle. If he doesn’t do that, there is usually an appearance on the third or fourth page of the leaderboard.

This week, the former is unfolding, as the addition of coach Stephen Sweeney and short-game guru Parker McLachlin to his inner circle is already paying off. Over the weekend, the short player needs to keep raking in the cash if he is to enter the winners’ circle for the first time since November 2022 and for the first time since February 2021 in the US.

That won’t be an easy task, as closely followed by Tournament of Champions debutant JJ ​​Spaun and reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year Scottie Scheffler at 14-under. Jordan Spieth, Tom Kim, Jon Rahm and Matt Fitzpatrick all find themselves on the front page of the leaderboard and within five shots of Morikawa with 36 holes to play.

the leader

1. Collin Morikawa (-16)

Morikawa may not have won in 2022, but statistically from a strokes won perspective, he was exactly the same as he was in 2021 when he won three times. This week he leads the field in putt strokes won, winning almost four strokes with the flat stick in two rounds and combined with his buttery iron play has provided a deadly double strike. As someone who usually lags behind the competition on the greens, it is this club that will make or break the first start of the year for the world No. 11.

Other contenders

T2. Scottie Scheffler, JJ Spaun (-14)

4.Jordan Spieth (-13)

5.Tom Kim (-12)

T6. Matt Fitzpatrick, Jon Rahm (-11)

T8. Luke List, Tony Finau, Corey Conners, Aaron Wise (-10)

What else is there to say about Tom Kim? Whenever it seems that the course is not suitable for his game or the competition is too strong, he appears on the first page of the leaderboard. Paired with former world No. 1 Rahm, Kim appeared relaxed on Friday despite letting his fair share of birdie opportunities fall by the wayside. Still just four strokes off Morikawa’s pace, if he were to win it would not only be his third win in his very young PGA Tour career, but the 20-year-old would also be following in the footsteps of a pretty big name (Tigerwald ).

Scheffler is trying to regain world No. 1 status

The former world No. 1 is poised to return to the top of the world at the weekend should he finish third or better in a two-way tie. In order for him to do this, Scheffler needs the putter to start cooperating as he currently leads the field in shots won from tee to green.

In the 16 starts since winning The Masters, Scheffler has averaged -0.35 putt strokes per round. Through two rounds at Kapalua, he has gained -0.69 putt strokes per round and ranks 30th in the field. A turnaround at this club could result in a win and a return to world No. 1.

2023 Tournament of Champions updated odds and tips

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

  • Collin Morikawa: 2-1
  • Scottie Scheffler: 13/5
  • Jordan Spieth: 7-1
  • Jon Rahm: 17/2
  • JJ Spaun: 12-1
  • Tom Kim: 14-1
  • Matt Fitzpatrick: 22-1
  • Tony Finau: 28-1

That is hard. Conventional wisdom suggests that Morikawa returns to the greens, but that’s without knowing the stamina of this newfound confidence in his putting stroke. This would also mean that Scheffler is showing improvement, which I think is the more likely scenario, and at just under 3-1 is a worthwhile investment.

Spieth continues to be a human roller coaster and Rahm is beginning to display similar traits, which makes me uneasy at the idea of ​​assisting either of them. I’m not sure Kim can continue that rapid rise, if it itches for a longer prize my money would be on Finau at 28-1 in hopes of a hot putting performance over the weekend.

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