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Birdies aid Morikawa at Charity Open

he Associated Press

DUBLIN, Ohio — Among the lessons Collin Morikawa took away from missing his first cut as a pro was that his reliable cut shot had left him. He found at it Muirfield Village, and suddenly looks as though he’ll be tough to catch at the Workday Charity Open.

Morikawa ran off four straight birdies after making the turn Friday, finished with another birdie and shot 6-under 66 to build a four-shot lead over Sam Burns (66) in the storm-delayed tournament.

His 13-under 131 was one shot off the course record set by Jason Dufner in 2017 at the Memorial.

The Workday Charity Open, which replaces the canceled John Deere Classic for this year only, has been set up a little easier than it will be for the Memorial next year, with slightly slower greens and rough that isn’t quite as high or thick.

Morikawa is still playing a different brand of golf than anyone else. Through two rounds, he has 15 birdies and an eagle. His four bogeys have come from silly mistakes that are bound to happen.

Ian Poulter, back at Muirfield Village for the first time since 2009 because of a reconfigured schedule brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, had a 69 and joined Chase Seiffert (69) at 7-under 137.

The second round had a pair of 75-minute delays because of the rumbling thunder and lightning that seems to appear whenever the PGA Tour is at Muirfield Village.

“Who knows who’s going to take it deep today?” Morikawa said. “Whether I have the lead or not, I’ve got to go into the weekend feeling like I’ve got to make the same amount of birdies I have the past two days. I feel like there’s a lot of birdies out there for me especially, the way I’ve been hitting it.”

Phil Mickelson had another exciting day, minus the meltdown at the end of his round. He opened by chipping in for birdie and making a 12-foot eagle putt. With the tee moved forward on the 14th hole, the par 4 guarded by a pond right of the green, he hit driver to 10 feet and had to settle for birdie.

European Tour

ATZENBRUGG, Austria — Miguel Angel Jimenez moved into position to break his own record as the oldest winner of a European Tour event when the 56-year-old Spaniard shot 7-under 65 to take the second-round lead in the Austrian Open on Friday.

Jimenez made nine birdies in his first 13 holes, before rebounding from bogeys at Nos. 16 and 17 with a birdie 2 at the last at the Diamond Country Club outside Vienna.

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