PGA Championship: Collin Morikawa, the 23-year-old who’s made breaking records a habit

But it was a 23-year-old from Los Angeles, Calif., Who parted ways with all the big hitters to claim his first major the second time around.
Collin Morikawa – who finished 13 under after a final round of six under 64 – won the first major of 2020, finishing two shots ahead of Johnson and Paul Casey at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. His weekend total score of 129 is the lowest ever for a top winner.

While there were no fans to cheer on the inaugural PGA Championship winner – with just a few cheers and applause from those in attendance after his winning eagle putt on the 16th hole – Morikawa’s victory sent waves. shock in the golf course. But, according to the American golfer himself, this is only the beginning.

“It doesn’t end there. I have a really good taste of what it is, what a major championship looks like,” said Morikawa – who attended the University of the University of California. in Berkeley – after his victory. .

“The majors are going to be surrounded, like everyone else, but I have to focus on every week. I try to win every week. I’m not trying to go out and win the majors. I’m 23. is my first full year.

“I love golf. I love every round. I love being in that position and I just love being able to come out here and play with a bunch of guys who love the sport too.”

READ: The golfer who traveled over 4,000 miles across the United States to compete in tournaments
Morikawa celebrates by kissing the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2020 PGA Championship.

‘It was crazy’

Just 15 months ago, Morikawa was still in college. Just 14 months ago, he made his professional debut.

Even before turning pro, he had had a successful amateur career, spending time as the top player in the world amateur golf rankings.

It only took him four PGA Tour events to finish in the top three. It only took him six tournaments to win, making him to the Barracuda Championship in 2019. He started his career on the PGA Tour making 22 consecutive cups, and only Tiger Woods started his career making more.

Since returning from the hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, he has been in scorching form. He finished second in the Charles Schwab Challenge in June before winning the Workday Charity Open last month.

Morikawa now has three PGA Tour wins in just 29 starts. Remarkably, he has more wins than lost cups.

With a Californian boy playing in a California major, in a typical major, the 16th hole would normally be lined with fans cheering on the hometown favorite.

Morikawa lines up a putt for the eagle on the 16th green in the final round of the 2020 PGA Championship.

But due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there were only a few stewards, marshals and other players to watch him sink his winning putt, which was the only shock absorber for Morikawa.

“It’s the only time I really wish there were crowds out there,” Morikawa said.

Entering the PGA Championship, Morikawa was No. 12 in the world. Now he’s ranked fifth in the world with a chance to move up to number one at the Northern Trust in Massachusetts in two weeks.

At the age of 23, 6 months, 3 days, Morikawa became the third youngest PGA Championship winner since World War II, behind only Rory McIlroy and Jack Nicklaus. But comparisons to Woods – who also won the competition at 23 – are far-fetched at the moment, according to Morikawa.

“It’s a great company. It’s been crazy, because the whole early part of my professional career I see everything that compares to Tiger… but Tiger is on a whole different level. I think we know that. all, ”Morikawa said.

“But every time you’re in the conversation of the greats, Jack, Rory, Tiger, whoever it is, if you’re in this conversation, you’re doing something right.”

READ: Is Bryson DeChambeau Changing Golf Irreversibly?
Morikawa is congratulated on a ranking after winning the 2020 PGA Championship.

Not all perfect

Morikawa’s poise with some of golf’s biggest names breathing down his neck to close in confident style drew the admiration of his competitors. Koepka called him “a player from hell” while Casey said Morikawa “really deserved” his victory.

He is only the ninth player to win the PGA Championship in his debut.

While his performance on the course left little to criticize, Morikawa’s trophy recovery still had a long way to go.

As he hoisted the Wanamaker Trophy into the air, the lid slipped, much to the delight of the few onlookers watching and Morikawa himself.

Morikawa reacts when the cover of the Wanamaker Trophy falls.

But while his trophy lifting might suggest he was unprepared for the situation, Morikawa says he feels “comfortable” in the habit of winning.

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“I believed in myself from day one. I didn’t let go,” he said.

“When I woke up today, I was like, it’s supposed to be. This is where I feel very comfortable. This is where I want to be, and I don’t have one. not afraid. I think if I was afraid the last holes would have been a little different. “

Following his victory, in addition to becoming No. 5 in the world, he moved up to second in the FedExCup ranking. With the FedExCup playoffs fast approaching and six majors over the next 11 months, the already rising star of Morikawa may just begin his meteoric rise.

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