2021 British Open Rating Winner: Collin Morikawa joins the Legends in eighth place to win two majors earlier than he turns 25

Collin Morikawa, 24, won his second major championship at the 149th Open on Sunday and was the first men’s golfer in history to debut at two different major events. He was also only the eighth golfer to ever win two majors before turning 25. The phenomenon ended the tournament with 15 under and beat the runner-up Jordan Spieth (-13) and the third-placed Jon Rahm and Louis Oosthuizen (-11).

Morikawa landed at the top of a star-studded leaderboard as he turned a drive deficit on the 54-hole corner into a two-stroke win and ended his week with a bogey-free 4-under 66 on lap 4. Spieth and Rahm beat him with 66s in a wild final round that gave us a great finish.

“This is by far one of the best moments of my life,” said Morikawa after the round. “… it gives me chills.”

Together with the winner of the 2010 Open Championship and 54-hole leader Louis Oosthuizen, who won the same championship 11 years ago today, Sunday, Morikawa and Oosty Pars exchanged on the first three holes of the final round of Royal St. George’s. But when Oosthuizen – who was leading after every lap that week – faded to 4th and 7th with bogeys, Morikawa rose and took the lead by sinking birdies in 7th, 8th and 9th, finished at 34 and ended his week with 31 consecutive bogey-free holes to earn the Claret Jug.

“It was 100%,” he said of his focus on his final 18 holes. “The execution was a bit questionable, but I knew there would be problems. … Yes, my putting stats may not be there, but they came when I needed them and I’m so happy. “

Spieth, a three-time major and 2017 open champion, made his own run on Sunday to push Morikawa onto the track on lap 4. After beating the bogeys on nos. 4 and 6, Spieth took seventh and birdie ninths 10, 13 and 14 to get into one of Morikawa’s lead on the back. But Morikawa, playing one hole behind him, had an answer at every turn with a clutch birdie on par-4 14th and a pair of par saves on 15 and 16 as he steadily brought it home.

Morikawa, who won the 2020 PGA Championship, is the second golfer, alongside Tiger Woods, to win The Open and the PGA Championship before he was 25. And only three golfers in the history of the sport – Gene Sarazen, Bobby Jones, and now Morikawa – have won multiple majors in such events in eight or fewer starts.

“I had to tell myself in the middle of the round when I started doing birdies, ‘just to focus on every shot,'” said Morikawa of his tiger-like demeanor. “… Just make sure that I’m engaged with every stroke. That was the goal of every day so far, and I had to stick to it. I did well with nine holes, but it was still nine holes and I still had to hit shot after shot to try to pull it off. ”

Oosthuizen, who was in the lead all week, finished second in the PGA Championship and the US Open with his third top three in a row with a major. Rahm, who won the US Open in Torrey Pines last month, has birded four of his last six holes but was unable to defend himself after a bumpy start at Royal St. George’s, while Spieth got his second top 3 result this year scored in a major.

The Open Championship was the only one of the golf’s four majors to be canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic and will be the last major on the PGA Tour schedule until next April, making the title of Champion Golfer of the Year for Morikawa all the more makes sweeter. He takes on the mantle of reigning champion and winner of 2019, Shane Lowry, who finished the week at 6 under and T12, making his second-best result at the event.

While Morikawa has a nine-month hiatus between the majors, he is one of the few Americans to play at another major tournament later this month: the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Here is a recap of The Open’s latest leaderboard.

1. Collin Morikawa (-15): Two big victories in eight careers and five tour victories in 49 starts make Morikawa the elite of golf at his age. He was great at Sandwich this week. As one of the best iron players in the world, he combined that success with a hot putter – and late Sunday clutch putting – to take the Claret Jug home with him.

2. Jordan Spieth (-13): While he was only a few strokes before a second Open Championship, Spieth was with 267 points the lowest score ever for a non-winner at the event. It’s his third top 5 result at The Open and his fourth top 10 result. He had to be almost perfect on Sunday to break a three-stroke, 54-hole deficit and almost missed a few scoring opportunities on the final holes.

T3. Jon Rahm and Louis Oosthuizen (-11): Rahm birdieed four of his last six holes to finish his final lap with a 4 under 66. He burned a lot of edges at the beginning of the lap and his aggression after being five behind on Sunday was rewarded late. Oosthuizen’s story is a heartbreaking story when he failed to wire-to-wire with a win and finished T3 or better in a third major straight championship.

5. Dylan Frittelli (-9): A fifth place for Frittelli underscores his meteoric rise on the PGA Tour. He finished T5 at the Masters last fall, T46 at the US Open last month and fifth this week at The Open, all of the best positions of his career for the 31-year-old South African.

T6. Brooks Koepka and Mackenzie Hughes (-8): Although Koepka hit par on his final six holes and failed to convert on par-5 14, Koepka made a final round of 65 tied for the low round of the day, his best result of the week and the first bogey free Round at Royal St. George’s. Hughes, who made his debut at The Open, was tied for his worst round of the week with a 1-under 69.

T8. Dustin Johnson and three others (-7): A 3-over 73 in round 3 knocked Johnson, world number 1, out of Sunday competition. But he might not have got the memo as he rose to fifth place on the leaderboard in round 4 and was 3 under at 14 holes.

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