A month ago, Collin Morikawa came within a putt of winning his second PGA Tour event at the Colonial.
Morikawa hopes he'll fare better after shooting a seven-under 65 in the first round of the 2020 Workday Charity Open in Dublin, Ohio. The 23-year-old holds a one-stroke lead over Adam Hadwin. Nick Taylor, Hideki Matsuyama, Zach Johnson and Aaron Wise are all two strokes back to round out the top five.
Having made the cut in his first 23 PGA events, Morikawa bowed out early of last month's Travelers Championship and took last week off over the Independence Day holiday. The Cal product said the time away allowed him to refocus and get his game back on track:
"I figured out something on the range with my coach the other day, having to do with my rotation, and went back to playing the way I was before. There are a lot of positives to take forward and hopefully keep it together for the next three days.
"This is a tough course, both off the tee and into the greens. It's a beautiful track and it's going to be a lot of fun this week."
Morikawa got as low as eight under before finishing his round with a bogey on the 476-yard 18th hole. He had an eagle on No. 5 and added six birdies, showing strong control and length off the tee.
The promising start is made all the more impressive by the number of top-ranked golfers who found themselves struggling Thursday.
Jon Rahm, the top-ranked golfer in the field, is seven strokes off the lead after a frustrating 72. Brooks Koepka will be scrambling to make the cut after falling apart on the back nine, shooting 41, on his way to a two-over 74.
Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed, who are both at four under, are the only top-10 players within striking distance.