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US Open 2022 ranking breakdown: Collin Morikawa and Jon Rahm rise to the top as Rory McIlroy holds on

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History was still going to be made this week in Brookline, Massachusetts. It was inevitable. However, the Boston faithful couldn’t have imagined a better seeding heading into the weekend at the 2022 US Open. of the lead, it’s the name at the top that has the potential to produce a truly jaw-dropping moment on Sunday.

That name belongs to Collin Morikawa, who shot a 4-under 66 on Friday to reach 5-under for the championship and command the co-lead alongside Joel Dahmen. Morikawa, 25, has seemingly been on TV for the past decade, but in reality this week’s US Open marks just the 11th major championship appearance of his career.

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In his 10 previous starts, Morikawa has achieved some surprising milestones, including a win on his PGA Championship debut and another on his Open Championship debut last summer at Royal St. George’s. A once-in-a-lifetime career start can be made all the more memorable with a victory at the Country Club.

Three major wins in 11 starts would be unprecedented given the depth of talent in the game of golf – for reference: Jordan Spieth needed 19 outings to get his three – and the ability to win those majors in three completely different settings would make all the most impressive feat. But make no mistake: Morikawa is ready for a final 36-hole battle with names like McIlroy, Rahm and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler all within earshot.

While this example doesn’t look like his last two triumphs, as Morikawa has yet to dominate a 36-hole lead in his major career – add that to his list of accomplishments – and some may continue to doubt his putt or his inexplicable lack of confidence in his iron game, history suggests that Morikawa will be just fine.

T1. Collin Morikawa and Joel Dahmen (-5): Last year, Morikawa couldn’t understand Scottish territory. He went on to win the Open Championship. This year he is unable to hit his patent fade with his irons. There you go, he’s right in the mix for his third major title. Not only would he continue his incredible pace on golf’s biggest stage, but with a victory, Morikawa would be one Masters victory away from completing the career Grand Slam. While the irons were good, not great, he made his mark with his performance on the greens. He had lost strokes with his putter in every start since the Masters, and so far this week at Country Club he has won more than three strokes with the flatstick.

T3. Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Aaron Wise, Hayden Buckley and Beau Hossler (-4): Rahm played alongside Morikawa the first two days and was likely upstaged by him. Still, the defending champion is in an enviable position and has a fantastic chance to follow in Brooks Koepka’s footsteps by winning back-to-back US Opens. It’s no surprise that Rahm leads the pack in shots won off the tee as he’s the best in the world in that department by a considerable margin; however, the improvement he has shown around the green this week has the potential to propel him to another major triumph.

T8. Scottie Scheffler, Nick Hardy, Matthew NeSmith, Patrick Rodgers and Brian Harman (-3): Carrying on the momentum of his birdie-birdie finish on Thursday, Scheffler is sure looked like world number 1 Friday. Although it didn’t start off without a hitch, the Texan had the best approach performance of his career from a shots gained perspective. Eventually signing for a 3-under 67, Scheffler will be in the conversation after Sunday’s back nine as long as his short game is able to reflect his base statistical output the rest of the way. He currently ranks first in strokes won on approach, third in strokes won from tee to green and sixth in strokes won off the tee, and he is outside the top 80 both on and around the green.

T13. Sam Burns, Matt Fitzpatrick, Adam Hadwin and Beau Hossler (-2): Burns was one of three players to sign for a 67 in the Morning Wave, and the next logical step in his career progression is weekend competition in a major championship. He can check that on the roster as he is firmly in the mix for this championship and should love his chances moving forward. A three-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, a victory this week would put him alongside his good friend Scheffler on the annual total. The LSU product only hit 15 fairways in the first two rounds, so he’ll likely need to improve in that department in order to create more scoring opportunities.

T16. Xander Schauele, Will Zalatoris, Davis Riley and four others (-1): His US Open resume is fantastic on paper, but this presents Schauffele’s best opportunity yet. In his previous five top-10 finishes, he had yet to really struggle; however, with 36 holes remaining, it is just four strokes off the pace. The names he’ll need to leapfrog are some of the most important in the game, but if there was ever a single instance in which he could lift the doubt and reputation surrounding his name, it’s this week.

T24. Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Brandon Matthews and four others (E): A truly impressive rebound for the two-time US Open champion as he now has 73-67 sets under his belt. Koepka was his typical self with the media after his second round, as the chip on his shoulder kind of increased tenfold. Only four men have beaten him in his last four US Open appearances and he has his work cut out if he doesn’t want to add much to that total. An improvement around the green would be huge considering it was the only area of ​​his game that held him back through 36 holes.

T31. Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Joaquin Niemann and six others (+1): I can only imagine how frustrated Thomas is after opening his second round with a double bogey and ultimately signing for a 2 of 72. At The Players Championship, the PGA Championship and now the US Open, the two-time winner major has been given the short end of the stick when it comes to weather bias in some of the biggest events of the season. He’s only six shots off the lead, and given the firepower in his arsenal, he’s still in this thing, although there’s now little room for error.

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