The Open 2021: Collin Morikawa says lead was 'Made in Scotland'

American Collin Morikawa admitted his sparkling second-day 64 at Royal St George’s had been ‘Made in Scotland’ after storming into the lead in the 149th Open in Kent.

Collin Morikawa reacts after finishing his second round in the 149th Open at Royal St George's in Kent. Picture: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images.

The 24-year-old Californian signed for seven birdies in his sensational effort, which moved him to nine-under-par at the halfway stage in the rescheduled Claret Jug event at the Sandwich venue.

It was the second time that Morikawa had carded a 64 in a major, having also posted that number when winning the US PGA Championship in San Francisco last year.

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This effort came on his Open debut and the Californian attributed his work overall on the opening two days to playing in last week’s abrdn Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club in East Lothian.

Collin Morikawa lines up a putt during last week's abrdn Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images.

Morikawa opened with rounds of 70 and 67 in Scottish Open before having to settle for closing efforts of 71 and 73 to finish joint-71st - his worst effort as a professional over four rounds.

“I wouldn't be here through these two rounds if I hadn't played last week at Scottish,” he said of having joined fellow world top-10 players Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele in making their first appearances in the Rolex Series event.

“I've played in firm conditions. I can think of places I've played in tighter, drier conditions, but just having fescue fairways and the ball sitting a little different was huge to see last week.”

Morikawa was five-over after six holes in the final round on Scotland’s Golf Coast on Sunday before finishing with a flourish with four birdies in the last five holes.

He still ended up 15 shots behind the winner, Australian Min Woo Lee, but the outing allowed him to make some big equipment decisions for this week’s assignment.

“Last week I wanted to win, but I came out of it learning a lot more and, thankfully, it helped for this week,” he added.

“I changed my irons, my 9 through 7-iron, that I normally have blades in. I changed to the TaylorMade MCs strictly because I couldn't find the centre of the face.

“I was sitting these iron shots last week that I just normally don't and my swing felt good, but it was a huge learning opportunity.”

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