July 17, 2021; Sandwich, UK, GBR; Collin Morikawa takes off his hat after delivering his 18th green in round 3 of the Open Championship golf tournament. Required credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports
When Collin Morikawa won the 2020 PGA Championship in his hometown of California, pandemic restrictions meant no spectators were present to celebrate with him.
More than 5,000 miles away, to bookend a stretch of seven majors in 12 months, Morikawa received his due from British fans at the Open Championship as they lauded the emergent American star.
Morikawa’s 66 Sunday Finals ended 15 under 265 at Royal St. George’s in Sandwich, England, lifting him past Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa for the second major title.
Morikawa, 24, became the first player in golf history to win his debut in two different majors and the first player since Bobby Jones in the 1920s to win two majors. industry in eight starts or less.
Jordan Spieth shot 66 to finish second with 13 under. Oosthuizen (71) and US Open champion Jon Rahm of Spain (66) tied for third place with a score of 11 under. South Africa’s Dylan Fritteli hit 68 to take fifth at bottom nine, and Brooks Koepka rose to the top of the leaderboard with 65 to finish T6 at eight with Canada’s Mackenzie Hughes (69).
Oosthuizen led the Open after each of the first three rounds, but failed to convert a big chance again. Earlier this year, he was a 54-hole co-lead at the US Open and runner-up after he also finished runner-up at the PGA Championship.
Playing in the final matchup, Morikawa opened the scoring with six straight goals while Oosthuizen shot back into fourth to give the lead in 11th place. Everything revolves around 7th place, a possible par-5 hole where Oosthuizen has undone.
Oosthuizen fired his third shot out of a lawn bunker, through a green area, and into another bunker. His recovery from there hasn’t been much better, landing on the green but too far from the hole for par hope. Morikawa, meanwhile, landed with a chip shot right next to the hole for a touchdown and a double swing.
That pushed Morikawa forward. He hit a perfect approach on the eighth round to set up a birdie, threw a birdie long putt at number 9 and saved a mid-range, downhill par put at number 10. took him to 14 under and set up a three-way lead over Spieth at the time, while Oosthuizen remained at 10 under.
Spieth, who ended his third round uncomfortably with two poor shots, took the lead twice in the first six holes on Sunday before capitalizing on the seventh inning with an eagle putt. With momentum at his side, he poured in four birdies between the 9s and 14s to rise to 13 under.
But like a handful of Sunday players, Spieth found her groove a bit late. Morikawa sank another long birdie in 14th to get 15 under 15, and Spieth missed a birdie opportunity in 17th to keep the beat.
Oosthuizen, who only had three bogeys total from Thursday to Saturday, made three bogeys and twice on Sunday for disappointing T3 results.
Rahm nearly knocked out an albatross on par-5 Saturday, where his approach rolled and slid the trophy several inches away, leaving him with a five-foot eagle.
The world No. 2 then pitted four birdies at 13-16 to climb to the bottom 11th, with his serve at par-3 16 stopping a few feet from the pin.
Fritteli, overshadowed by bigger names throughout the day, broke into the top five with two of his five birdies at numbers 15 and 17.
Early in the afternoon, Koepka hit a bogey-free 65th with three birds and an eagle, a possibly lower inning with some more converted birds on home turf.
Morikawa won 67-64-68 in the first three innings to win for Sunday. His second round of 64 featured seven birdies quickly putting him on the hunt for number 62, which would be a record of the course and tie in with the one-round record for a major.
He played the last 31 holes of the championship without a donkey.
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