Collin Morikawa earns maiden win at Barracuda Championship

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Collin Morikawa birdied his final three holes to earn his maiden PGA Tour title at the Barracuda Championship

Morikawa was already impressing on the PGA Tour after turning professional last month, but now he has guaranteed his membership after claiming his first Tour title by three points over Troy Merritt. 

The Barracuda Championship was played with a modified stableford format, and a final round 65 gave Morikawa 14-points (two points for each of his seven birdies) to finish on a total of +47 for the week.

"It was something really special to finally get the win," Morikawa said, who birdied all three of his final holes for victory.

Morikawa's first birdie of the day came with a 17-foot birdie putt at the sixth, and he added a second at the par-five eight to move closer to Merritt, who looked to be in control by the turn. 

But the World No.172 went on a charge, adding gains at the 10th and 14th holes before back to back birdies at the 16th and 17th, which included a 30-footer for birdie to move him in to a one-point lead with one hole to go.

"It felt good to make that putt, but obviously I had one more hole to play," Morikawa said. "There was a lot of points on the board left, and I knew I had business to do on 18. And I hit three good shots and was able to tap in for birdie."

A final hole birdie meant that Merritt would need to try for an eagle at the last if he wanted to win, but his chip rolled 12-feet past the hole and he was unable to get the birdie either, leaving Morikawa with a three-point win for his first title on Tour.

He only graduated from college two months ago, and now joins Matthew Wolff as the second player this season to have come straight from college to win their first PGA Tour title.

It followed a runner-up finished to Wolff at the 3M Open and fourth place at the John Deere Classic. 

While he was already assured of a PGA TOUR card for next year with his good results, the victory gives him membership immediately, with his points retroactive. Morikawa is at No. 46 in the FedExCup.

He earned $630,000, giving him $1,672,904 since graduating college just over two months ago.