Collin Morikawa shot the lowest final round in US PGA Championship history to win his his maiden Major at TPC Harding Park in just his 28th start as a pro.
On an action-packed day that saw nine players hold the lead, Morikawa produced the spectacular moments required to win a Major, chipping in from short-right of the 14th green for birdie before eagling the short par-4 16th on his way to a round of 64 (-6) and winning total of 13-under.
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The American's only mistake came after his round, dropping the lid of the Wanamaker Trophy as he lifted it during the presentation. On this evidence, the 23-year-old will get plenty more practice in the future.
Morikawa now has one Major, two PGA Tour wins, six top-10s and just one missed cut in little more than a year as a pro. Only Tiger Woods had better figures after 28 starts (one Major, six PGA Tour wins, eight top-10s and one missed cut).
With his win, Morikawa moved to No.5 in the world rankings – he would be World No.1 if his Official World Golf Rankings points were divided by the 28 events he has played so far instead of the minimum 40 divisor OWGR uses.
He joins an illustrious group in Rory McIlroy, Tiger and Jack Nicklaus as players to have won the PGA Championship aged 23 and becomes the fastest player to win a Major after turning pro since Tiger at the 1997 Masters.
He’s also the first player to win the US PGA on tournament debut since Keegan Bradley in 2011 and broke the record for men’s Major scoring over the final 36-holes (129, 11-under).
TPC Harding Park was a fitting setting for the triumph, Morikawa having played it more than a dozen times during his four-year collegiate career at the University of California, Berkley.
It was a man 20 years his senior who eventually proved Morikawa’s biggest threat for the title. Paul Casey produced a sublime round of 66 (-4) and was tied for the lead before Morikawa’s eagle on 16 all but secured the crown and ensured the Englishman's quest for a first Major goes on.
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Overnight leader Dustin Johnson birdied 18 to finish T2, but now holds an unwanted record, becoming the first man to fail to convert four 54-hole Major leads into victory.
Brooks Koepka questioned the quality of those above him on the leaderboard heading into the final round, but it was the four-time Major champion’s own form that deserted him as hopes of the “three-peat” all bit disappeared with a disastrous 39 (+4) front nine. The American eventually signed for a 74 to finish T29.
Monday will be the first day that Koepka hasn’t been a reigning Major champion since June 18th, 2017 - 1,148 days ago.
Playing together, Ryder Cup teammates Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau made fast starts in their hunts for a first Major, each birdieing the opening two holes and both topping the leaderboard at stages throughout the final day before having to settle for a T3 finish on -10.
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They were joined by Scottie Scheffler, whose closing 68 ensured a top-10 on his Major debut, alongside Jason Day and Matthew Wolff – all three having found themselves in pole position at various stages throughout Sunday.
Cameron Champ was another who found himself leading the way, but the Major pressure told and he eventually finished in a tie for 10th with Joel Dahmen and Xander Schauffele.
Justin Rose added yet another Major top-10 to his CV as a closing 67 saw him finish 9th.
Tommy Fleetwood’s hopes of a first Major victory slipped away as the popular Englishman stuttered to a 73 (+3) and T29 finish.
Earlier in the day Tiger Woods produced some familiar Sunday form, his 67 ensuring a T37 finish, but the 15-time Major champion wouldn’t be drawn on when we’d see him again. “I’ll see you in the future,” is all Woods would reveal.
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Rory McIlroy closed with a two-under 68 to finish T33, while Jordan Spieth, who entered the week looking to complete the Career Grand Slam, ended his disappointing tournament on a high with a 67 (-3).
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