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Home / Sport / 2020 PGA Championship leader, winner: Collin Morikawa, 23, stuns golf stars with historic victory

2020 PGA Championship leader, winner: Collin Morikawa, 23, stuns golf stars with historic victory

Preparing a fork presidency and some of the biggest names in the sport with a pair of all-time shots in the ninth back, 23-year-old Collin Morikawa pulled a stunt Sunday, shooting a 6-under 64 in the round of last at Harding TPC Park to win the 2020 PGA Championship. Morikawa solidified his role as the face of the youth golf movement, completing two open shots from the field at 13 under for the tournament to capture the first major of his career in only his second chance.

With the victory, Morikawa joins Jack Nicklaus (1963), Tiger Woods (1999) and Rory McIlroy (2012) as holders of the Wanamaker Trophy at the age of 23. He is the third youngest player to win the PGA Championship in the kick-game era and also the ninth golfer to win the event on his debut.

The association with those legends is far from what will be remembered from his victory in San Francisco. No, it will be how Morikawa took a championship hanging in balance and snatched it from the biggest names in the game with some of the best accomplishments we’ve seen in the recent history of the big championship.

Started at No. 1

4, when he retreated from a second nasty kick to catch the birds and break the loggia to level 10-that was the ceiling for most of the afternoon. That lead was affected by as many as seven players during the day, but Morikawa chip created a leader that everyone had to follow.

Morikawa then handed over a car that would come off as one of the best hits in PGA Championship history. His land shot at Nr. 16 – a 294-yard mobile par-4 that created the ultimate risk-reward balance for all the drivers in the stretch – was hit in a perfect line that caught the snug at 7 feet. Morikawa followed that epic with an eagle ball to put the tournament on ice.

The book on Morikawa has always included compliments for his hitting the ball and his even annoying nature with his placement identified as a weakness. To walk up and bury that pimple – and a few others down the alignment – showed a well-rounded superstar in complete control of his talents.

Starting with Morikawa, let’s break down the top of the presidency in the PGA 2020 Championship.

1. Collin Morikawa (-13): While this PGA Championship will be the starting point for many, remember that Morikawa really showed solidarity as one of the stars of 2020 when he defeated Justin Thomas in a play off at Muirfield Village at the charity of the day. It was a warning shot beyond the bow, and it was a rocket that sank from the ship by the top ball striker on the PGA Tour.

T2. Dustin Johnson (-11): A 54-hole lead with a final pairing treatment and, again, the DJ comes before a big championship. Unlike some other similar cases from his major championship history, this one did not involve obvious mistakes or infamous moments. Two late birds, both after Morikawa had left, give him a racing status, but for most of the round, he was moving in or slightly more than even par, hanging in contention thanks to the work of his before Sunday. Johnson did not make much of a mistake, but he did not do enough to win.

T2. Paul Casey (-11): This is only Casey’s second 10th finish in the PGA Championship, but finishing close to the top in a major is nothing new for the 43-year-old Englishman. This is his 10th ball and his first runner-up in a major championship, and while he played well enough to get out of the pack, it was not enough to keep up with Morikawa. Great golf all week, just a few magic shots to set up the Wannamaker.

T4. Jason Day (-10): This was a championship that seemed ripe for Day as he sought his second PGA Championship. His game had been in excellent form in the last three tournaments that went into the week, and he looked as healthy as he was in a few years working his way around TPC Harding Park as one of the leaders all week after shooting a first round 65 Unfortunately, it was Morikawa’s time, but success here should be highlighted as we move forward with an eye on the next two major championships.

T4. Bryson DeChambeau (-10): Before passing the epic Morikawa at 16, Bryson almost set himself up for an equally dramatic moment that changes the tournament. His paddle jumped around the green edge and hung at the top of the vegetable bunker, giving DeChambeau a 16-foot look at the eagle. He ended up having to opt for birds, and so remained in the blocking of cuts in the 10-under. Disappointment will come when the puppies back-to-back at 8 and 9 are realized as the moments when he lost the championship, but his hot start and strong finish should be accepted as positive proof that DeChambeau’s new game is the big championship of ready.

T4. Toni Finau (-10): Compared to Bryson’s noise and puffing, Finau’s version of the bash brothers’ approach seems a bit bland. Watching those two work around TPC Harding Park was a joy, but Finau’s scouting was not so much a hole or pair of holes as an average field setting performance that left him with a lot of pars even after he played the holes well.

T4. Matthew Wolff (-10): It was Wolff’s first major championship, and he nearly forced his way into a play-off after shooting a 65 early in the afternoon. Wolff did not have a bad round all week; he just kept begging and then suddenly arrived as a contender to win with the low score at the club while the leaders were starting in the back nine. Wolff faced Morikawa at the NCAA level and will have another opportunity in the future to repeat it back and forth over the coming years and decades.

T4. Scottie Scheffler (-10): Speaking of first timers, Scheffler did not back down as you might expect a rookie would play alongside Johnson in the final pair Sunday in a major championship. There were mistakes that prevented him from scoring opportunities, but a round of three birds, with one sleep, could have been quite good in other circumstances.

9. Justin Rose (-9): A really strong week for Rose, who has worked through club changes and adjustments to his game throughout 2020. He showed some signs of life in returning from the block and played strong golf all week in San Francisco. This is his third 10th in the PGA Championship and 17 top 10 in one size, but Rose is still looking to snap a winning drought dating back to January 2019.

T10. Xander Schaufele, Joel Damen, Cameron Champ (-8): Autumn time put Champ in the spotlight, and he was unable to deliver enough shots to continue further when the executives started pushing the slow pace. Still rounding out in shape, Champ never fell out of contention, but remained a hit or two of the advantage for most of the afternoon. When it comes to the future of golf that looks bright, it’s not just Morikawa and Wolff. Champ, 25, is much of a part of that conversation. Schauffele had one of his best rounds of the week on Sunday in another 10 ball in a major, always seemed to quietly be just a few kicks away from progressing through a major champion.

T13. Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed, Daniel Berger, Si Woo Kim (-7): Rahm has quietly worked his way to the top by making at least one better shot every day, thus completing a 66 hurdle in the final round. A low first row number 70 and no low number kept him in the back burner, unlike Berger who started hot with the 67s back-to-back to get pairing treatment late at the weekend.

T29. Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood, Harold Varner III, Doc Redman (-3): After spending Saturday night throwing hay producers at press conferences about how the rest of the presidency did not have the experience and great success it did, Koepka fell very short of his big conversation with a wet one-round sandwich final at TPC Harding Park. Things were off from the start, and the 4s over 74 will come down as the moment when the golf world shifted from the belief that Koepka is the championship’s main king. He has a lot of challenges now to think confidence will only result in top-0, especially with even younger stars like Morikawa and Wolff fearlessly joining.

T33. Rory McIlroy and three others (-2): McIlroy described his game status as a step forward, a step back on Sunday afternoon, showing a better bird or count (13) that could have been good enough to win if it were not for him the same disappointing disappointment or worse count (14). He feels like things are close, but at the same time, there is no overwhelming feeling that the former world No. 1 is the biggest threat in a big championship.

T37. Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson and four others: Tiger’s hot placement on Thursday proved to be a false hope for his title claim, but his Sunday round at 67 (the best result of the week) was a reminder that we are nowhere near the way to panic regarding the state of his game. The swing looks good and he got it during the healthy week, so we still have to consider him a factor in the play-offs and the two major championships we left on the calendar in 2020. Thomas, on the other hand, had probably more expectations high after reaching No.1 in the world and never seemed to have the goods, but he was a mill to the end and found enough ways to save himself to finish under par.

See the full guide at the top of this story or click here for the more detailed note.

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