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Morikawa shines once more in Open debut, win

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World No. 4 Collin Morikawa made it very clear forward of his match debut at The Open Championship that he was not trying to merely achieve expertise or discover ways to play hyperlinks golf.

He was at Royal St. George’s to win.

The 24-year-old Californian made that assertion a actuality on Sunday in Sandwich, England, carding a bogey-free 66 within the last spherical of the 149th Open to complete at 15-under 265 and win by two photographs over 2017 Open champ Jordan Spieth, and by three photographs over world No. 2 and reigning U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm and 2021 bridesmaid-of-the-year Louis Oosthuisen.

“I’m not making the journey over right here simply to expertise The Open or study it,” stated Morikawa on Wednesday previous to his simply his second begin on European soil after ending T-71 on the Scottish Open the week prior. “I’m two years in as a professional now. Sure, it’s a match I’ve by no means performed, however I’ve executed this for 2 years. I present as much as tournaments, I present as much as venues and it is a little completely different – it’s a bit farther away from residence – however the perception remains to be there. The tip objective is clearly to win.”

With the win got here a slew of notable “firsts.” Morikawa, listed at +3500 to win at the beginning of the week and +200 going into Sunday by way of PointsBet Sportsbook, turns into the primary participant in historical past to win two completely different majors in his debut appearances following his triumph on the 2020 PGA Championship 11 months in the past, and the primary participant since Bobby Jones in 1926 to win two in his first eight begins. He additionally turns into the primary participant to win in his Open debut since Ben Curtis in 2003 – additionally at RSG – and the youngest since Seve Ballesteros in 1979 to return from behind on the ultimate day and win the claret jug.

“I believe while you make historical past — and I am 24 years outdated — it is arduous to understand, and it is arduous to essentially take it in,” stated Morikawa, who teased that maybe 4 straight days of consuming a burger might need been “the key” to his historic win. “At 24 years outdated, it is so arduous to look again on the two brief years that I’ve been a professional and see what I’ve executed as a result of I need extra.”

Via three rounds, Morikawa stayed scorching on the heels of Oosthuizen, who was trying to keep away from turning into the primary golfer since 2000 to complete runner-up in three straight majors and kicked off the season’s last main with a flawless first-round 64 to carry the solo lead by one. The 38-year-old South African prolonged his result in two photographs with a 65 on Friday and maintained the solo lead by one with a 69 on Saturday. Morikawa, in the meantime, adopted up his opening-round 67 with a 6-under 64 of his personal to path by two going into the weekend and began the ultimate spherical only one off the tempo due to a 68 on Saturday.

“I am glad I look calm as a result of the nerves are undoubtedly up there,” admitted Morikawa, who credited final week’s begin on the Scottish Open as “large” in serving to him dial in his tools and technique for The Open. “However you channel these nerves into pleasure and power, and that places you away from like a worry issue into, ‘That is one thing I need.’”

The victory marked the fifth profession title for Tokyo Olympics-bound Morikawa and second this season after profitable the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession in late February. Since then, he’s notched 5 top-10 finishes together with a playoff loss on the Memorial, T-4 on the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines and T-8 on the PGA. The victory additionally places Morikawa into Tiger Woods’ territory as the one gamers to win The Open and PGA earlier than age 25. He additionally joins Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus as the one gamers to win a number of majors earlier than age 25 when trailing getting into the ultimate spherical.

World No. 23 Spieth, a three-time main winner, tried to search out the brilliant aspect of his runner-up end result – his fourth profession second-place end in a serious – though he admitted to being haunted by a bogey-bogey ending to his 1-under 69 on Saturday, which knocked him out of the ultimate pairing.

“It is arduous to be upset after I was a pair over by means of six,” stated Spieth, who made bogeys at Nos. 4 and 6 on Sunday earlier than an eagle at No. 7 shifted his momentum. “…The end yesterday, was about as upset as I’ve taken a end of a spherical to the home. I walked in and wished to — I stated, ‘Is there one thing that I can break?’ I knew that was so essential as a result of I might have been within the last group. …

“What good does it do to be upset? You come out as we speak, and I type of got here out with, ‘Sure, I needs to be main the match.’ That is how I felt. However now I get to play with a chaser’s mentality, which typically might be with a bit extra freedom.”

For Oosthuizen, who got here into the week listed at +3000 and looking for a second claret jug to pair along with his 2010 runaway victory at St. Andrews, it was one other near-miss following runner-up finishes on the PGA Championship and U.S. Open (two of six profession second-place finishes at majors), and his fourth podium end in his final 5 main appearances.

“Nicely I do know one factor, the followers on the Open are second (or third) to none,” Oosthuizen tweeted after declining to talk with the media. “Thanks for the unbelievable assist this week, and congrats to Collin Morikawa who performed with class and grit as we speak.”

Oosthuizen, whose two-day, 11-under 129 whole set a brand new 36-hole scoring file at The Open, closed with a 1-over 71 — his first spherical not within the 60s on the week. He opened the door for Morikawa with a bogey at No. 4, misplaced his lead with one other bogey at No. 7 and by no means recovered though he did handle to go 1-under over his last 9 holes.

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Bryson again in headlines after ripping on tools

One other week, one other attention-getting efficiency by world No. 6 Bryson DeChambeau, who wasn’t within the information for his play – he completed T-33 at 2-under 278 – however quite for his feedback ripping his Cobra driver following a 1-over 71 within the opening spherical, the place he hit simply 4 of 14 fairways.

“If I can hit it down the center of the green, that’s nice, however with the motive force proper now, the motive force sucks,” stated DeChambeau, who was listed at +3000 to win coming into the week. “It’s not an excellent face for me, and we’re nonetheless making an attempt to determine the best way to make it good on the mis-hits. I’m residing on the razor’s edge, like I’ve informed individuals for a very long time.”

The feedback drew ire from Cobra tour operations supervisor Ben Schomin, who had caddied for DeChambeau simply two weeks in the past on the Rocket Mortgage Basic.

“Everyone is bending over backwards,” Schomin informed Golfweek on Thursday. “We’ve acquired a number of guys in R&D who’re CAD’ing (computer-aided design) this and CAD-ing that, making an attempt to get this and that into the pipeline quicker. (Bryson) is aware of it. It is simply actually, actually painful when he says one thing that silly. … He has by no means actually been blissful, ever. Like, it’s totally uncommon when he is blissful.”

DeChambeau, who closed out his week with a bogey-free, 5-under 65 for his solely sub-par rating of the match, later issued an apology on Instagram, writing: “I deeply remorse the phrases I used earlier. I’m relentless in pursuit of enchancment and perfection. A part of that causes me to change into outwardly pissed off at occasions. With the brand new speeds I’m acquiring, my sport is a continuing work in progress and so is controlling my feelings.”

Odds and ends: Rahm finishes robust, Mickelson misses weekend

Spain’s Jon Rahm, the betting favourite at +800 coming into the week, notched his fifth consecutive prime 10 in a serious and eleventh prime 10 of the season. Rahm joins Brooks Koepka (2019), Jordan Spieth (2015), Tiger Woods (2005) and Phil Mickelson (2004) as gamers since 2004 to complete inside the highest 10 in all 4 majors in a season together with a win.

Additionally notching prime 10s have been world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (T-8 at 7-under 273; began at +1700) and No. 8 Brooks Koepka (T-6, 8-under 272; +1600), who recorded his sixteenth prime 10 in his thirtieth main begin. Koepka has completed inside the highest 10 in 12 of his final 16 main begins together with this yr’s U.S. Open (T-4) and PGA Championship (T-2). Defending champion Shane Lowry, who had custody of the claret jug for 722 days and was +4000 to begin the week, additionally completed a good T-12 at 6-under 274.

On the opposite finish of the spectrum, reigning PGA champion Phil Mickelson shot 80-72 to overlook the lower by 11 photographs. The six-time main winner, listed at +8000 forward of The Open, didn’t make a single birdie in his first spherical, didn’t make his first birdie till the eleventh gap on Friday and made simply three general.

Additionally lacking out on weekend motion have been Jason Day (+7000), Patrick Reed (+3500) and Patrick Cantlay (+3500). Day (75-70), the 2015 PGA champion and former world No. 1, couldn’t recuperate from a bumpy begin at RSG the place he made three bogeys and a double in his first 9 holes. World No. 9 Reed battled a case of the “lefts” by means of his first two rounds and shot 72-71 to overlook the lower by two. World No. 7 Cantlay, who got here into the week using a victory on the Memorial and two top-15 finishes in his final three begins, additionally missed the lower by two after rounds of 74-69.

Subsequent up: 3M Open

Whereas a notable contingent of gamers will journey to the Tokyo Olympics this coming week, the Tour heads to Minnesota the place Michael Thompson will defend his 2020 title. Thompson ended a seven-year winless drought along with his two-stroke victory over Adam Lengthy at TPC Twin Cities, positioned simply north of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Reigning FedExCup champion Dustin Johnson shall be in search of his first Tour victory for the reason that Masters in November, whereas 54-hole Open Championship chief Louis Oosthuizen is ready to make his 3M Open debut. Different notables set to tee it up in Minnesota embrace Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, two-time Tour winner this season Stewart Cink, Sergio Garcia and up to date winner Lucas Glover. Additionally making their match debut are Rickie Fowler and American Ryder Cup captain Steve Stricker.

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