Defending champion Collin Morikawa misses cut in 150th Open

Collin Morikawa’s reign as Open champion came to a disappointing end as he missed the cut on his first visit to St Andrews by a shot after rounds of 72-73.

Collin Morikawa, left, shakes hands with Rory McIlroy on the 18th green after the second round of the 150th Open. Picture: Harry How/Getty Images.
Collin Morikawa, left, shakes hands with Rory McIlroy on the 18th green after the second round of the 150th Open. Picture: Harry How/Getty Images.

The American birdied the last in his second circuit, but that wasn’t enough to prevent him from becoming the first title holder to bow out at the halfway stage in this event since Darren Clarke missed the cut at Royal Lytham in 2012.

It was a rare disappointment for Morikawa in the game’s biggest events, having become the first player to win two majors on his debut after also landing the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

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Morikawa’s early exit came after two-time St Andrews winner Tiger Woods had missed out earlier in the day following rounds of 78-75.

Henrik Stenson, the 2016 victor at Royal Troon, shared Morikawa’s agony by coming up one short, as did Louis Oosthuizen, who won by seven shots at St Andrews in 2010 then got into a play-off on the Old Course five years later. So, too, did two-time winner Ernie Els after the South African shot a second-round 75.

Englishman Matthew Jordan, who won the St Andrews Links Trophy as an amateur, missed out by two shots while John Daly and Zach Johnson, winners here in 1995 and 2015 respectively, and two-time champion Padraig Harrington were a shot further back.

After opening with a 69, Harrington started birdie-birdie on day two but then frittered away shots as he went on to add a 78.

“It hurts missing the cut. It hurts missing when you were 5-under par. Do you want any more hurts?” said the US Senior Open champion.

Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink and Paul Lawrie were among other Claret Jug winners to make early exits, as did four-time major champion Brooks Koepka.

A total of 83 players made the cut, with 2018 winner Francesco Molinari and Scottish No 1 Bob MacIntyre among those to scrape through with nothing to spare.

Four amateurs are through to the weekend. Englishman Barclay Brown leads the way in the battle for the Silver Medal on six-under, three shots ahead of Italy’s Filippo Celli and six in front of compatriot Sam Bairstow and also Aaron Jarvis from the Caymen Islands.

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