SAN FRANCISCO (REUTERS, AFP) – Collin Morikawa made a stunning late eagle after the drive of his life to pull away from a jam-packed leaderboard and secure a two-shot victory at the PGA Championship on Sunday (Aug 9) in only the second major start of his career.
The 23-year-old American, who began the day two shots behind overnight leader Dustin Johnson, shot a bogey-free six-under 64 to reach 13-under 267 for the tournament.
Former world No. 1 Johnson (68) and English Ryder Cup veteran Paul Casey (66) finished in a share of second place.
“It’s amazing, it’s been a life goal,” Morikawa said after receiving the trophy. “But to close it out here in San Francisco, pretty much my second home, is pretty special.”
The first major of the Covid-19 era looked headed for a playoff as the day began with 11 players within three shots of Johnson, and at one point late in the round, seven players held a share of first place.
Morikawa seized the outright lead at the par-four 14th, where he chipped in from 54 feet for birdie.
Then, after narrowly missing at birdie at No. 15, Morikawa hit the shot of the tournament as his tee shot at the 294-yard, par-four 16th hole settled seven feet from the cup for an eagle that sent him on his way.
Jason Day, Matthew Wolff, Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau and Scottie Scheffler all finished in a tie for fourth, three shots adrift of Morikawa.
Brooks Koepka failed in his bid for a historic hat-trick. The two-time defending PGA Championship winner got off to a woeful start with four bogeys on the front nine en route to a four-over 74.
Tiger Woods rebounded from a frustrating third round to shoot a 67 and finish one under for the tournament. He struggled on the greens early in the tournament, but found his putting groove Sunday, needing just 21 putts in the fourth round.
With the win, Morikawa joins Jack Nicklaus, Woods and Rory McIlroy as the only players since World War II to win the PGA Championship at age 23 or younger.
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