That Morikawa-Hovland singles match next year at Whistling Straits is going to be sick.— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) July 9, 2020
There are no shortage of storylines coming out of Muirfield Village after Round 1 of the inaugural Workday Charity Open. One of the youngest, brightest potential stars -- Collin Morikawa -- on the PGA Tour holds the lead after absolutely decimating the course on Thursday to the tune of a 65, and he has plenty of fascinating chasers behind him.
Muirfield Village was another star on Thursday, especially after some of the numbers golfers posted over the first three events. The scoring average in Round 1 was a little over 72, but following what we saw last week at Detroit Golf Club, this probably felt like a U.S. Open. In Round 1 last week, there were 10 rounds of 66 or better. On Thursday at Muirfield Village, there were just two.
Morikawa shot one of them as we take a closer look at what he accomplished over the first 18 holes and what's on deck for one of the most exciting players in the game today.
1. Collin Morikawa (-7) -- What a show from maybe the best iron player in the world. It took until his very last shot of the day for Morikawa to make a bogey, but by then his cushion was thick enough that he still takes a one-stroke lead into Round 2. His name might not be super recognizable, but there's plenty of staying power in him going into the last 54 holes. This round also suggests that he was a little burned out two weeks ago when he missed his first cut as a pro at the Travelers Championship. Top-five rankings off the tee and on his approach shots on Thursday -- not to mention a top-25 putting day -- are going to be difficult for the rest of this field to beat. If he goes wire to wire in this field, that's immediate star status with superstar status just around the corner.
2. Adam Hadwin (-6) -- The Canadian is probably more known for his short game than his tee-to-green game, but both were working nicely on Thursday. He's also making my "Corey Conners at +200 to be low Canadian" bet look pretty bad after 18 holes.
T3. Hideki Matsuyama, Zach Johnson, Nick Taylor, Aaron Wise (-5) -- It shouldn't be a huge surprise that Matsuyama played great on Thursday at Muirfield Village. He's had success on this course in the past and shot a 65 on the weekend at the Rocket Mortgage Classic a week ago. As always with Matsuyama, the story is his putter. On Thursday, it was Good Hideki, and he finished in the top 25 in putting. When that happens (and it's not often!) he's going to be at or near the top of the leaderboard.
T7. Justin Thomas, Pat Perez, Louis Oosthuizen, Tim Wilkinson, Peter Malnati, Ian Poulter, Patrick Reed, Adam Long, Graeme McDowell (-4) -- The best part of Thomas' game is his iron play, and he's one of the few truly elite tee-to-green players in golf today. He finished in the top 10 on approach shots on Thursday and showed off his skill on a course where you get myriad hanging lies, balls beneath your feet and sloped shots into testy greens. His putting was slightly above average, which is exactly where it needs to stay for him to contend this Sunday. Mission accomplished on Day 1 for J.T.
T87. Phil Mickelson (+1) -- It was a roller coaster of a day for Lefty in Round 1. He had a putt for 31 on the front nine and then came home in 40. So what changed? Well, mostly his tee-to-green play. He gained six (!) more strokes from tee to green (much of it with his iron play) on the front nine (which was playing a stroke easier) than he did on the back nine. These are the two versions of Mickelson we'll likely have to live with for most of the rest of his career. He gave us the full preview on Thursday.
T110. Brooks Koepka (+2) -- The four-time major champion also rode a roller coaster on Thursday, but it was the inverse of Mickelson's ride. Koepka went out in 41 (what?!) and made three birdies coming home to give himself a chance at making the cut on Friday. He's been inconsistent all year, although it seemed like his trajectory flipped a little at the RBC Heritage a few weeks ago. Bad iron play doomed him in Round 1, though, and the best major player alive has some question marks as the first major of the year approaches.
Four other takeaways
• I mentioned it off the top, but I think players probably feel a little beat up by this course after how easy the first three weeks played. Longer track, higher rough and more changes in elevation probably lead to a better determination of who's hitting the ball best in a given week.
• Morikawa might have the best non-Rory McIlroy swing on the PGA Tour. He took some gorgeous rips on Thursday, including a 3-wood into No. 15 that led to a near-eagle that was absolutely magnificent.
• Bubba Watson made a 9 and two 6s. Ryan Palmer also made a 9 (on a par 3). Tough day all the way around at Muirfield Village for some of the best in the world.
• This exchange involving Jon Rahm was the best.
CBS Sports was with you the entire way updating this story with the latest scores, updates and highlights from the Workday Charity Open below. Check out the live scores at the top of this story or a more detailed leaderboard.