San Francisco, August 10
The finest shot of his life, the shot that made Collin Morikawa a Major champion, was by no means speculated to occur. He knew the tee on the 16th at Harding Park can be moved ahead on the PGA Championship. He stated throughout apply rounds that would not tempt him to go for the inexperienced.
But this was Sunday afternoon, proper after Morikawa had chipped in for birdie to interrupt out of a seven-way tie, and at this second was tied once more with Paul Casey.
“I knew I had to hit a good one,” he stated.
The shot might be remembered as the most effective in a Major that hardly anybody witnessed, not with spectators banned throughout the Covid-19 period for Majors. Morikawa hit driver on the 294-yard gap that was excellent in flight and even higher when it landed, hopping onto the inexperienced and rolling to seven ft for an eagle that each one however clinched victory on a largely quiet, chilly afternoon at Harding Park.
In the primary Major with out spectators, the 23-year-old Californian completed with a bang. The chip-in for birdie, the tee shot for eagle, it added to a 6-under 64 and the perfect closing spherical by a PGA champion in 25 years, and a two-shot victory over Casey (66) and Dustin Johnson (68).
The solely remorse was the shortage of a roar this shot deserved. He had no concept how good it was till he obtained nearer to the inexperienced.
“This is one time I really wish there were crowds,” he stated with a broad smile.
“I was just praying for a straight bounce … and then after it bounced, it kind of got behind a tree that we couldn’t see around the corner.”
The Covid-19 pandemic that moved the PGA Championship from May to August was allowed to be performed provided that spectators weren’t allowed. But there was one one that will not neglect what he noticed. Casey, along with his first good shot at successful a Major, birdied the 16th to tie Morikawa for the lead. Standing on the tee on the par-3 17th, he regarded again and noticed the ball roll towards the cup.
“What a shot,” was all Casey may say. “Nothing you can do but tip your cap to that. Collin had taken on that challenge and pulled it off. That’s what champions do.”
For Johnson, it was one other Major that obtained away. It was his fifth runner-up end in a Major — his solely title is the 2016 US Open — and his second straight runner-up within the PGA Championship. — AP
Among the Elite
Morikawa joins Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy as the one gamers since World War II to win the PGA Championship at age 23 or youthful. He grew to become the sixth participant to seize this Major earlier than turning 24.
Morikawa, in solely his 28th begin as a professional and his second Major, performed bogey-free in Round 4. His solely mistake was on the finish, when it was time to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy, the heaviest of the 4 Major trophies. The lid got here off and tumbled to the grass as Morikawa’s eyes bulged.