Collin Morikawa has put on a putting masterclass to claim the 2021 Open Championship at Royal St.George’s.
Collin Morikawa has claimed his second major championship after winning the 2021 Open Championship by two strokes carding a final-round 4-under par 66.
Morikawa won the US PGA Championship at his first attempt last year and the American repeated the feat in his first appearance at an Open Championship.
Morikawa becomes just the second golfer to win the US PGA and The Open Championship at just 24-years of age.
“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,” Morikawa said after receiving the Clzret Jug.
“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.”
Nothing but class from @Collin_Morikawa.
A very deserving champion. pic.twitter.com/FNEBzVsN9a
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 18, 2021
In benign conditions for an Open Championship, Morikawa took the lead and held off a late challenge from Jordan Spieth with an incredible display of putting.
“I felt like it was as solid as it’s going to get. I don’t think I really missed many from that distance. Especially in a major,” Morikawa said.
Everything about my stats say I’m not a good putter statistically. I feel like I can get a lot better. But in these situations I feel like everything is thrown off the table. Forget about all your stats, who can perform well in these situations.”.
Looking in control of the tournament for the first three days, South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen never got going in the opening nine holes dropping two shots.
A near hole-in-one at the par-3 11th when Ooosthuizen’s golf ball bounced off the flagstick had golf fans wondering if the 2011 champion was going to make his move.
Oosthuizen could only watch on as Morikawa stormed into the lead thanks to three consecutive birdies before the turn, finishing the round with eight one-putt holes in a phenomenal display on the greens.
It’s was hard to believe that Morikawa is ranked 176th for putting on the PGA Tour this season and looked very uncomfortable on the greens at last week’s Scottish Open.
Jon Rahm battled a cold putter for most of the opening nine holes before catching fire with four consecutive birdies from the 13th hole.
“At the end of the day, still a really good showing. Played really good golf all week. Too bad I’m going to end up just shy,” Rahm said.
“Yeah, I’m still going to smile because I gave it my all. Finished really, really strong and gave myself the best chance I could.”
The biggest challenger however came from 2017 Open champion Jordan Spieth.
Despite two bogeys in his opening six holes, Spieth pulled within one stroke of Morikawa after a birdie at the par-5 14th hole.
Minutes later, Morikawa again showed his magic with the short stick holing a difficult, undulating birdie putt on the same hole to come home with a two-stroke buffer and to raise The Claret Jug.
The best Australian golfer for the week was Cameron Smith who was still in contention to win the tournament before the final round. However, a final-round 4-over par 74 saw Smith drift back into a tie for 33rd place.