Collin Morikawa, at age 24 and playing in only his eighth major championship, was as flawless as he was unflappable en route to winning the British Open Sunday at Royal St. George’s.
Morikawa, who won the 2020 PGA Championship at Harding Park in San Francisco, finished 15-under par for the week, two shots ahead of Jordan Spieth at 13-under and four shots ahead of Louis Oosthuizen and Jon Rahm at 11-under.
His 15-under-par 265 is the lowest score in the 15 times the Open has been played at Royal St. George’s.
Morikawa came from behind to win the PGA by shooting a final-round 64. On Sunday, he began the day one shot behind Oosthuizen and shot a 4-under-par 66, seizing the lead from the 38-year-old South African on the seventh hole and never looking back, never losing the lead.
Morikawa has played in eight career major championships and won two of them. Since World War II, no one has won two majors in fewer starts. This was Morikawa’s 49th PGA Tour event as a professional and he already has five wins.
He won the PGA Championship the first time he played it. This was his first British Open. This win made him only the second player ever to win a PGA and a British Open before his 25th birthday, joining Tiger Woods. He became the first player to win two major championships in his first try.
The accolades keep coming. Morikawa is that good, that steady, that impressive.
He’s the ninth player to win a British Open on his first attempt, the last being Ben Curtis in 2003 at Royal St. George’s
How steady and unflappable was Morikawa?
He didn’t three-putt a single green all week and he played the final 31 holes without a bogey, the third-longest streak without a bogey by a major championship winner. He finished with only four bogeys all week.
For Oosthuizen, Sunday was yet another chapter in the growing list of heartbreak in his career. Oosthuizen has finished runner-up in six major championships, including the PGA and U.S. Open this year. At least he didn’t finish second this time. He finished third.
Oosthuizen’s final round came unglued on that fateful par-5 seventh hole, where he skulled a greenside bunker shot across the green and into another bunker to a horrible lie. He would walk away with a bogey on the hole while Morikawa birdied.
The three-shot swing gave Morikawa the lead he would quickly increase to three shots when he birdied the eighth hole to take a three-shot advantage.
Spieth’s Open was doomed on Saturday when he bogeyed the final two holes of his third round, lowlighted by a missed 18-inch par putt on the 18th hole. Had he parred both of those holes, he’d have been in a playoff.
Morikawa, who was in college at Cal 26 months ago, now has five victories in his two years since turning pro, a run that includes two majors and a World Golf Championship. The win moved him to No. 3 in the world.
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