Collin Morikawa Wins the PGA Championship
By: Alex Oh
San Francisco, California - Heading into the final round of the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park, many players were in contention to win the first major since the coronavirus pandemic struck. Dustin Johnson, who had won the U.S. Open at Oakmont in 2016, sat atop the leaderboard. Experienced players like Brooks Koepka, Paul Casey, Jason Day, and Bryson DeChambeau also filled the top half of the leaderboard.
About halfway through the final round, the leaderboard was still packed with seven players tied for the lead at 10 under. Only this time, a new player had found himself in the mix, a young rising player named Collin Morikawa. Coincidentally, Morikawa grew up in California, attending the University of California, Berkeley which is only a few miles away from the course.
After all was said and done, Morikawa, who was in his first season as a pro on the PGA Tour, defied the odds by winning the tournament, executing a series of clutch shots in the last stretch of holes to secure the win.
It all started with a chip-in on the 14th that moved him to the outright lead, one ahead of a group of players at 10 under. At that point, the championship was still up for grabs. However, on the 16th hole, Morikawa executed a brilliant drive that left him 7 feet for an eagle. He would convert that putt to take a 3 stroke lead, essentially ending the tournament.
This win puts Morikawa in a small group of people to have won a major at 23 or younger. The only other players to achieve this are Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, and Jack Nicklaus.
Many players were quick to congratulate the young star.
“With the golf he’s playing, he’s a well deserving champion,” said Tony Finau in a post-round interview.
After his phenomenal final round of 66, Morikawa expressed his satisfaction.
“You know, I'm on Cloud Nine right now,” he said, standing on the 18th green Sunday evening. “It's hard to think about what this championship means, and obviously it's a major, and this is what guys go for, especially at the end of their career, and we're just starting. So I think this is just a lot of confidence, a lot of momentum, and it just gives me a little taste of what's to come.”