Morikawa rallies to win Open Championship
Monday, July 19, 2021

(SANDWICH, ENGLAND) – Collin Morikawa was making one of the most satisfying walks in golf, down the 18th fairway as a soon-to-be Open champion, when he looked up at the huge grandstand surrounding the green. It was filled with spectators, who firstly were applauding and soon giving a standing ovation to a 24 year old American making a historic start to his major championship career. So different from 11 months ago, when Morikawa won his first major, the PGA Championship, at an empty venue. The mature-beyond-his-years Californian closed with a bogey-free, 4 under 66 at Royal St. George's and won The Open in his debut Sunday, becoming the first player to capture two different majors on the first attempt. After tapping in for par to win by 2 shots over Jordan Spieth, Morikawa gave a fist pump before applauding the spectators. Before long, he was being handed the Claret Jug that so many go their entire careers without winning. He gazed adoringly at it, then thrust it into the air and gave it a kiss. The fans were seeing a young player already halfway to the career Grand Slam after eight starts, the first since Bobby Jones in 1926 to win two majors in so few appearances. Morikawa follows Gene Sarazen, Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Tigers Woods, Rory McIlroy and Spieth in winning multiple majors before turning 25. His total of 15 under 265 was a 72 hole record in 15 Opens at Royal St. George's. In 13 of them, the winning score has been 5 under or lower.