Morikawa could miss cup as winds wreak havoc in Abu Dhabi | Golf

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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Collin Morikawa was facing his second missed cut in 15 months as high Arabian Gulf winds wreaked havoc in the Abu Dhabi Championship second round on Friday.

2-ranked Morikawa shot 2 of 74, adding to his 73 in the first round, to leave the British Open champion on 3 for the tournament. That was two strokes below the current cut projected midway through the second round.

Still, the conditions at Yas Links – amid 35mph (56mph) winds, balls sometimes struggled to come to rest on the undulating greens and rolled down the fairways into the rough – were likely to lead to scores raised for the rest of the day at the first event of the European tour of 2022.

Even No. 7-ranked Viktor Hovland with two wins in his last three events was only able to shoot 74, 10 shots short of the Norwegian’s tally in the opening round.

“It was a difficult day. It was a really tough wind, blowing as much as it is,” Hovland said.

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“You always play defensively with every shot. So it’s a really tough day.”

However, Hovland were well placed heading into the weekend tied for second place at 6 under with Ian Poulter, who shot an even par of 72. No player shot lower than Poulter among the first starters.

“It was risky to hit bowling at the water’s edge,” Poulter said. “Sometimes you enjoy it, sometimes it’s miserable.”

Morikawa, playing the first event in his Race to Dubai title defense, had only missed one cut since October 2020. It happened at the Northern Trust in August.

Scott Jamieson, a No. 336-ranked Scotsman, led after shooting 63 in the first round. He was absent in the afternoon, along with Rory McIlroy and defending champion Tyrrell Hatton.

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