The 24-year-old entered the final day of the major tournament behind Louis Oosthuizen, but a three-point run straight to the back of nine helped push the Americans past South Africa, who had already topped the standings against three. last time of the tournament. day.
In his debut at the British pro, Morikawa became the first man to win both the PGA and Open championships in his debut at the tournament.
Just over two years ago, Morikawa ranked 1,039 in the world after finishing 14th at the RBC Canada Open in June 2019. Now, he’s a two-time major.
Later, Morikawa said that he was still not done winning the majors.
“At 24, it’s hard to look back on the two short years I’ve had as a professional player and see what I’ve done because I want more. I enjoy these moments and I love it, and I want to teach myself to embrace it a little bit more, maybe take a few more days and sit back and drink this whole thing,” he told the media.
“But I just want more. When you’re in these moments and you really love what you do, which is what I like to golf and play with these guys, these are the best moments. ever because the nerves push you to be a better person.”
Entering the final day of competition, it was almost impossible to choose a winner between Oosthuizen, Morikawa and Spieth.
Despite his long-range advantage, Oosthuizen has had a habit of unfortunately failing at the last hurdle in recent years. And it’s proven, with two bogeys up front, nine have brought South Africa down the rankings.
Morikawa took the advantage, with three consecutive birdies to close behind the number nine giving him a four-shot lead before a moment later a birdie from Spieth closed the gap to three.
It was never the go-to plane for the Americans.
If overnight leader Oosthuizen lacked in the final 18 holes, three-time major winner Spieth has returned to his best form as he ran at the top of the leaderboard.
The 27-year-old American’s serve was hot and smart as he recovered from a few early sets to put some pressure on Morikawa.
Oosthuizen created a magical moment, hitting the tough par-three 11th hole just a few millimeters from the memorable hole-in-one.
Meanwhile, defending US Open champion Rahm is working hard to win the coveted Claret Jug.
An eagle on the 7th hole and a straight run with four birds on the nine’s back catapulted him up the rankings and made the 26-year-old Spaniard dream of a second straight championship.
But Morikawa wasn’t flustered at all. Despite his youth and relative inexperience at the pro tournament – he’d only played in seven games before this weekend – Morikawa calmly saw off his opponents.
He kept his steering precise, his irons precise and his put sharp as he handled every challenge the tough Royal St George’s course could present.
And under the blazing British sun as the UK experienced a small heat wave, Morikawa was able to score a historic goal on the 18th hole to go home to win the 149th Open title.
The American is the first player to win the Open on his debut since Ben Curtis in 2003 at Royal St. George’s.
Morikawa also became the second player to win the Open and PGA Championship before the age of 25 – the only person to do so is Tiger Woods.
After sinking the winning putt, he said that although he appeared calm on the surface, his nerves were still ringing.
“I’m glad I look calm because the nerves are definitely still there. But you channel these nerves into excitement and energy, and that keeps you away as an element of fear so become what I want.
“Especially with the last nine holes going. Jordan is making a birdie; I think Rahm is pushing; Louis has a birdie on 11, a great birdie. You can’t worry about the score. I have to. worry about every shot Can I do every shot to the best of my ability Some of us did, some of us didn’t, and then you move on We can’t control control what’s going to happen, what’s happened, so I really see that as focusing on every shot, how do I see what’s the best shot I can, and try and try and try Do your best from there.”
Close but not enough
For Morikawa’s rivals, it’s a close case, but no cigar.
Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, has now finished second or second in six different majors.
And this week, despite topping the charts in three-quarters of the Open, he lacked in the final round. For one of the most beloved golfers, it was heartbreaking once again that the South African finished in third place.
For Spieth, who is looking for his first major win since 2017 after a long time with several struggles, the American has shown that he is a force to be reckoned with once in a while. again.
Spieth excelled in all aspects of his game, troubleshooting when he put pressure on his countryman Morikawa.
However, Spieth believes it was his hit that ultimately let him down.
“My reservation is not where I want to be at all. I say so,” he told the media afterward. “It’s progressing in the right direction, but it’s not where it happened.
“And I know what needs to be done to get there, and that’s very difficult to do. But it’s rounds like today or this week, big championship rounds, where you obviously have to check if you’re not. only his ability to encounter but also lots of buttons to hit and break reliable hits and lines.
“I’m really not as sharp on the ball this week. I’m sharper than I was at Augusta, and things go a little here and there this year. My bad weeks have been fine and my good weeks are really good , but i need to work a little bit to get close to getting a few hundred to 500 solid laps between yesterday’s finish and today’s round to think i can go out on the field and hit enough confidence to win.”
Sunday wasn’t enough when Morikawa could go on to be crowned Champion Golfer of the Year.
As a result of the win, Morikawa moved up to No. 1 in the FedExCup and No. 3 in the world rankings.
https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/18/golf/collin-morikawa-the-open-winner-spt-intl/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fedition_golf+%28RSS%3A+CNNi+-+Golf%29 | Collin Morikawa makes history with Open Championship win after dramatic final round