Pebble Beach Golf Links near Monterey, California, is widely considered one of the world’s best courses, and this weekend, it hosted its sixth U.S. Open, the most of any course in the past 50 years. Among the top-ranked golfers in attendance were two former Bears: Byeong Hun An and Collin Morikawa.
Both golfers took this opportunity on one of golf’s biggest stages to record strong performances. An recorded a -3 over the tournament, finishing in a tie for 16th, and Morikawa recorded a +1, finishing in a tie for 35th in his first major tournament.
Morikawa, who graduated in May, qualified for the U.S. Open at a sectional qualifying event in Columbus, Ohio, on June 3. Since then, in addition to competing at the U.S. Open, Morikawa competed at the Canadian Open, where he finished tied for 14th with an 8-under-par showing.
After the first two rounds Thursday and Friday, An and Morikawa were both within the top 60 and made the cut to compete in the final two rounds. An was tied for 32nd and Morikawa for 56th, making the cut by a single stroke. An has now made the cut in three out of six tries at the U.S. Open.
On Saturday, An teed off with Tiger Woods, and Morikawa with Andy Pope. Both had strong third rounds, with An moving up 18 spots to a tie for 14th and Morikawa advancing eight spots to a tie for 48th. This placed An eight strokes out of the lead heading into the final round.
An recorded an even par in the final round at Pebble Beach, and Morikawa’s back nine of 5-under was the best in the field on Sunday, one stroke better than Woods’ 4-under.
“Overall, the week was okay, it wasn’t great,” Morikawa said in a press release. “So to kind of finish this off (with my back nine) and move on to next week is going to be a big boost. I’m going to be able to use this for the rest of the summer.”
Both Morikawa and An noted the large number of “Go Bears!” cheers they heard during their time at Pebble Beach, even when competing with some of the world’s most popular golfers.
“It’s great to be back in the San Francisco area,” An said in the press release. “I saw a lot of Berkeley alums out there cheering for me. It was great to see them because most of the people were yelling Tiger’s name (when I played with Woods on Saturday), but I heard them yelling ‘Go Bears’ and I knew they were cheering for me. I was very delighted to see those people coming out to see me play.”
Akshara Majjiga covers men’s golf. Contact her at [email protected]lycal.org.