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June 26, 2020

The Tiger Woods record Collin Morikawa won't catch after missing the cut at the Travelers Championship

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Ronald Martinez

Collin Morikawa was bound to have a bad week—due for one, really—considering the incredible start to his PGA Tour career. He just wishes it had happened about a month later.

Morikawa missed the cut at the Travelers Championship on Friday, meaning he won't have a weekend tee time for the first time since turning pro last June. His remarkable made cut streak to begin his pro career was snapped at 22 tournaments, just three shy of the record held by Tiger Woods. And don't think Morikawa wasn't thinking about that.

“To have that consistency over the past year, especially not having any status last summer, to go out and winning, making the playoffs, it means a lot," Morikawa told Golf Channel after extending his streak at the Charles Schwab Challenge two weeks ago. "And obviously the goal is to reach Tiger, if not beat him.”

Instead, he'll have to settle for the second-best such streak of the past 30 years after shooting second-round 71 at TPC River Highlands. Coupled with a 72 on Day 1, that left Morikawa at three over par and well outside of the projected cut line of three under with the afternoon wave still to play. Including his appearance as an amateur at the 2018 Arnold Palmer Invitational, Morikawa had made 23 consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour.

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In addition to consistent good play, the Cal product picked up his first PGA Tour win in just his sixth start at last year's Barracuda Championship. He nearly added a second victory at Colonial two weeks ago, but lost a playoff to Daniel Berger when he lipped out a four-footer for par on the first extra hole. Morikawa also missed a five-footer for the win on the final hole of regulation.

If there's one weak spot in Morikawa's game, it has been the shortest club in his bag. He entered this week ranked 172nd in strokes gained/putting. But when you're No. 3 in strokes gained approach, you're going to give yourself a lot of birdie looks. At TPC River Highlands, however, Morikawa had a rare off week with his irons, hitting only 50 percent of greens in regulation.

Overall, Morikawa has seven top-10 finishes and 12 top 25s in his first 23 starts as a pro. And while the cut streak challenged Woods' mark, not surprisingly, that's where the comparisons end between the 23-year-old and the 15-time major champ.

During his 25 consecutive cuts to start his PGA Tour career after turning pro in 1996, Woods won an absurd six times while racking up 14 top 10s and 20 top 25s. One of those six wins was his landmark 12-shot victory at the 1997 Masters.

Woods missed his first cut at the 1997 Canadian Open, and the following year he began his record-breaking streak of 142 consecutive cuts. So shake it off, Collin. You've got an even bigger challenge ahead.