The 24-year-old got here into the ultimate day of the key a shot behind Louis Oosthuizen, however a run of three straight birdies on the again 9 helped propel the American previous the South African, who had topped the leaderboard over the event’s earlier three days.
In his first look on the British main, Morikawa grew to become the primary man to win each the PGA Championship and the Open on his debut on the tournaments.
Just over two years in the past, Morikawa was ranked 1,039th on the earth having completed tied for 14th on the RBC Canadian Open in June 2019. Now he’s a two-time main winner.
Afterwards, Morikawa mentioned he is not achieved successful majors but.
“At 24 years old, it’s so hard to look back at the two short years that I have been a pro and see what I’ve done because I want more. I enjoy these moments and I love it, and I want to teach myself to embrace it a little more, maybe spend a few extra days and sit back and drink out of this,” he informed the media.
“But I just want more. When you’re in these moments and you truly love what you do, which I love playing golf and competing against these guys, these are the best moments ever because the nerves push you to just be a better person.”
Heading into the ultimate day of motion, it was nearly inconceivable to select a winner between Oosthuizen, Morikawa and Spieth.
Despite having a shot benefit, Oosthuizen has developed an unlucky behavior of failing on the final hurdle over latest years. And so it proved, with two bogeys on the entrance 9 dropping the South African down the leaderboard.
Morikawa pounced to take benefit, developing with three straight birdies to shut out the again 9 that gave him a four-shot lead earlier than moments later, a birdie from Spieth lowered the hole to a few.
It was by no means airplane crusing for the American.
If in a single day chief Oosthuizen light over the ultimate 18 holes, three-time main winner Spieth regarded again to his finest as he made a run on the high of the leaderboard.
The 27-year-old American’s putter was pink scorching and his chipping intelligent as he recovered from some early set backs to place some stress on Morikawa.
Oosthuizen did produce one second of magic, hitting the flag on the robust par-three eleventh gap, simply millimeters from a memorable hole-in-one.
Meanwhile, reigning US Open champion Rahm was placing collectively his personal push for the coveted Claret Jug.
An eagle on the seventh gap and a run of 4 straight birdies on the again 9 shot him up the leaderboard and had the 26-year-old Spaniard dreaming of a second successive main.
But Morikawa was unfazed. Despite his youthfulness and relative lack of expertise at majors — he is solely performed in seven earlier than this weekend — Morikawa calmly noticed off his rivals.
He saved his driving correct, his iron pictures exact and his placing crisp as he handled each problem the difficult Royal St George’s course might provide.
And below the blinding English solar because the UK skilled a mini-heatwave, Morikawa was capable of faucet dwelling the historic putt on the 18th gap to be topped the 149th Open champion.
The American is the primary participant to win the Open on his debut since Ben Curtis in 2003 at Royal St. George’s.
Morikawa additionally grew to become the second participant to win the Open and the PGA Championship earlier than the age of 25 — the one different golfer to have achieved that feat is Tiger Woods.
After sinking the successful putt, he mentioned that despite the fact that he might have outwardly regarded calm, his nerves have been jangling.
“I’m glad I look calm as a result of the nerves are undoubtedly up there. But you channel these nerves into pleasure and vitality, and that places you away from like a concern issue into that is one thing I need.
“Especially as those last nine holes were coming in. Jordan was making birdies; I think Rahm was pushing; Louis had a birdie on 11, an amazing birdie. You can’t worry about the score. I had to worry about every shot. Can I execute every shot to the best of my ability? Some we did, some we didn’t, and then you move on. We can’t control what’s going to happen, what has happened. So I really looked at that as just focus on every shot, how do I see what is the best shot possible, and try and do my best from there.”
Close But Not Enough
For Morikawa’s rivals, it was a case of shut, however no cigar.
Oosthuizen, who gained the Open in 2010, has now completed runner-up or tied second at six totally different majors.
And this week, regardless of ending atop the leaderboard for 3 quarters of the Open, he light within the remaining spherical but once more. For some of the favored gamers in golf, it was heartbreak but once more because the South African completed tied for third.
As for Spieth, who was trying to find his first main victory since 2017 after a protracted spell with some struggles, the American confirmed that he’s a power to be reckoned with once more.
Spieth was magnificent in all elements of his recreation, carving up the course as he put stress on his compatriot Morikawa.
However, Spieth believes it was his placing that finally let him down.
“My putting is not where I want to be at all. I say at all,” he informed the media afterwards. “It’s progressing the precise path, but it surely’s not the place it has been.
“And I do know what must do to get there, and it is simply very tough to do. But it is rounds like at this time or this week, main championship rounds, the place it’s a must to clearly take a look at not solely your contact out right here, but additionally loads of knobs and breaking putts and belief strains.
“I just wasn’t extremely sharp with the putter this week. I was sharper than I was at Augusta, and it’s been a little bit kind of here and there this year. My bad weeks have been okay and my good weeks are really good, but I needed to put in a little bit of work trying to almost get a solid couple hundred to 500 putts in between yesterday’s finish to today’s round to think that I could go out and confidently go stroke enough to win.”
It wasn’t fairly sufficient on Sunday as Morikawa was capable of maintain on to be topped The Champion Golfer of the Year.
As a results of the win, Morikawa strikes to No. 1 within the FedExCup and No. 3 on the earth rankings.