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The 149th Open Royal St George's
Sticking to the formula
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Morikawa drawing on past glories ahead of final round
Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa came from behind to win on debut at the PGA Championship last year and is relishing the opportunity to repeat the feat as he looks to cap a dream Open bow at Royal St George's.

The American’s two-under round of 68 means he will start Championship Sunday a stroke behind Louis Oosthuizen and he could have been level but for a missed birdie chance on the 18th green.

It is the first time Morikawa will be part of the final pairing in a major but having overturned a two-shot deficit en route to a maiden major triumph in his native California 11 months ago, he is confident he can take the pressure in his stride.

“That is an interesting one,” he said. “I have never been in the position all the previous other times.

“To be honest, you build a game plan and we see what we need to do all the way the tournament and I stick to it.

“That is exactly what I am going to try and do tomorrow. Obviously being in a final round at a major is different, but I'm going to try and keep it as similar as possible to every other tournament I have played.

“The biggest thing I can draw from the PGA is just knowing I can get it done. But I think confidence just comes from hitting good shots, quality shots, seeing putts go in.

“There is a lot to draw from, especially this week. I do not have much experience on links golf, and pretty much all the highlights in my head are from this week.

“Hopefully we can just use that momentum from the first three days and just bring it into the last 18.”

Morikawa showed tremendous character to battle back to within touching distance of Oosthuizen after faltering in the early part of his Moving Day round.

Bogeys at the 2nd and the 5th put him four shots off the pace but he was back on terms as part of a three-way tie for the lead by the 14th green.

Oosthuizen birdied 16 to restore the overnight advantage he has held throughout The 149th Open but Morikawa cannot wait to begin his attempt at becoming the eighth consecutive first-time Champion Golfer when the pair tee off at 2.35pm.

“I still cannot explain to you what happened on 2,” he said.

“I thought it was into the wind and hit a pitching wedge from 118, 120 and flew the green, and then 5 you just get unlucky.

“No matter what happens tomorrow I know I produced good golf shots already this week and I am capable of it.

“It's going to be a gruelling 18 but I look forward to it. It's position you want to be in.

“As an athlete, golfer, you want to be in this position. I love it, so I really look forward to tomorrow.”

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