Collin Morikawa makes historical past with Open win after dramatic last spherical
The 24-year-old got here into the ultimate day of the key a shot behind Louis Oosthuizen, however a run of three straight birdies on the again 9 helped propel the American previous the South African, who had topped the leaderboard over the match’s earlier three days.
In his first look on the British main, Morikawa turned the primary man to win each the PGA Championship and the Open on his debut on the tournaments.
Simply over two years in the past, Morikawa was ranked 1,039th on the earth having completed tied for 14th on the RBC Canadian Open in June 2019. Now he’s a two-time main winner.
Afterwards, Morikawa stated he isn’t completed profitable majors but.
“At 24 years outdated, it is so laborious to look again on the two brief years that I’ve been a professional and see what I’ve completed as a result of I need extra. I take pleasure in these moments and I like it, and I need to train myself to embrace it slightly extra, possibly spend just a few further days and sit again and drink out of this,” he instructed the media.
“However I simply need extra. Whenever you’re in these moments and also you actually love what you do, which I like enjoying golf and competing towards these guys, these are the very best moments ever as a result of the nerves push you to only be a greater individual.”
Heading into the ultimate day of motion, it was nearly unattainable to select a winner between Oosthuizen, Morikawa and Spieth.
Regardless of having a shot benefit, Oosthuizen has developed an unlucky behavior of failing on the final hurdle over current years. And so it proved, with two bogeys on the entrance 9 dropping the South African down the leaderboard.
Morikawa pounced to take benefit, developing with three straight birdies to shut out the again 9 that gave him a four-shot lead earlier than moments later, a birdie from Spieth decreased the hole to a few.
It was by no means airplane crusing for the American.
If in a single day chief Oosthuizen pale over the ultimate 18 holes, three-time main winner Spieth seemed again to his finest as he made a run on the prime of the leaderboard.
The 27-year-old American’s putter was crimson scorching and his chipping intelligent as he recovered from some early set backs to place some stress on Morikawa.
Oosthuizen did produce one second of magic, hitting the flag on the powerful par-three eleventh gap, simply millimeters from a memorable hole-in-one.
In the meantime, reigning US Open champion Rahm was placing collectively his personal push for the coveted Claret Jug.
An eagle on the seventh gap and a run of 4 straight birdies on the again 9 shot him up the leaderboard and had the 26-year-old Spaniard dreaming of a second successive main.
However Morikawa was unfazed. Regardless of his youthfulness and relative lack of expertise at majors — he is solely performed in seven earlier than this weekend — Morikawa calmly noticed off his rivals.
He stored his driving correct, his iron pictures exact and his placing crisp as he handled each problem the difficult Royal St George’s course may provide.
And beneath the blinding English solar because the UK skilled a mini-heatwave, Morikawa was capable of faucet house the historic putt on the 18th gap to be topped the 149th Open champion.
The American is the primary participant to win the Open on his debut since Ben Curtis in 2003 at Royal St. George’s.
Morikawa additionally turned the second participant to win the Open and the PGA Championship earlier than the age of 25 — the one different golfer to have achieved that feat is Tiger Woods.
After sinking the profitable putt, he stated that despite the fact that he might have outwardly seemed calm, his nerves have been jangling.
“I am glad I look calm as a result of the nerves are undoubtedly up there. However you channel these nerves into pleasure and vitality, and that places you away from like a concern issue into that is one thing I need.
“Particularly as these final 9 holes have been coming in. Jordan was making birdies; I believe Rahm was pushing; Louis had a birdie on 11, an incredible birdie. You’ll be able to’t fear concerning the rating. I needed to fear about each shot. Can I execute each shot to the very best of my means? Some we did, some we did not, and you then transfer on. We will not management what is going on to occur, what has occurred. So I actually checked out that as simply concentrate on each shot, how do I see what’s the finest shot attainable, and try to do my finest from there.”
Shut however not sufficient
For Morikawa’s rivals, it was a case of shut, however no cigar.
Oosthuizen, who received the Open in 2010, has now completed runner-up or tied second at six totally different majors.
And this week, regardless of ending atop the leaderboard for 3 quarters of the Open, he pale within the last spherical but once more. For probably the most favored gamers in golf, it was heartbreak but once more because the South African completed tied for third.
As for Spieth, who was looking for his first main victory since 2017 after a protracted spell with some struggles, the American confirmed that he’s a drive to be reckoned with once more.
Spieth was magnificent in all elements of his sport, carving up the course as he put stress on his compatriot Morikawa.
Nevertheless, Spieth believes it was his placing that ultimately let him down.
“My placing just isn’t the place I need to be in any respect. I say in any respect,” he instructed the media afterwards. “It is progressing the fitting route, nevertheless it’s not the place it has been.
“And I do know what must do to get there, and it is simply very troublesome to do. However it’s rounds like at this time or this week, main championship rounds, the place it’s a must to clearly check not solely your contact out right here, but in addition quite a lot of knobs and breaking putts and belief traces.
“I simply wasn’t extraordinarily sharp with the putter this week. I used to be sharper than I used to be at Augusta, and it has been slightly bit type of right here and there this yr. My unhealthy weeks have been okay and my good weeks are actually good, however I wanted to place in slightly bit of labor attempting to nearly get a strong couple hundred to 500 putts in between yesterday’s end to at this time’s spherical to suppose that I may exit and confidently go stroke sufficient to win.”
It wasn’t fairly sufficient on Sunday as Morikawa was capable of maintain on to be topped The Champion Golfer of the Yr.
On account of the win, Morikawa strikes to No. 1 within the FedExCup and No. 3 on the earth rankings.