Collin Morikawa certainly isn't playing like an Open debutant.
The 24-year-old PGA champ entered Friday's second round at Royal St. George's at 3 under and three shots off of Louis Oosthuizen's lead, but a front-nine, 4-under 31 moved Morikawa into the solo lead midway through his second round.
He finished with a 6-under 64 and is 9 under through 36 holes.
The talented ball-striker birdied the opening hole before adding another birdie at the par-4 fifth, where he hit a beautiful approach from 184 yards to 3 feet.
Morikawa then tied the lead by sinking a downhill, 30-foot birdie putt at the par-4 eighth.
Another tight approach, at the par-4 ninth, set up another 3-foot birdie make.
Early on the back nine it appeared as if Morikawa would seriously flirt with a major-record 61. He birdied Nos. 11, 12 and 14 to get to 7 under on his round.
But a bogey at No. 15 ended the threat. Morikawa missed a 10-footer for birdie at the last to settle for 64.
Morikawa is trying to win in his debut in a second major after capturing the Wanamaker last summer. That's something, according to Justin Ray of Twenty First Group, that has never been done before.