Major History – Morikawa wins The Open Championship becoming the first player to win his first start at two major championships

He’d never played the British Open previously to this week, but Collin Morikawa looked like a veteran on Sunday at Royal St. George’s, shooting 15-under par, and winning golf’s final major of the year

It is Morikawa’s second major championship win in as many years, following his victory at the 2020 PGA Championship. He finished in a tie for fourth at the U.S. Open in June, and tied for 8th while defending the PGA Championship. At 24, Morikawa has become one of golf’s top young stars, and his exacting iron play has led to five wins on the PGA Tour in three years.

Chris Trotman/Getty Images – Image courtesy of TaylorMade

Morikawa, playing in the final group with Louis Oosthuizen, had a stunningly consistent final round, with four birdies and no bogeys. He played near flawless golf, even as Jordan Spieth, playing in the second-to-last group, put pressure on the lead. In all, Morikawa made only four bogeys over the entire tournament.

That said, the conditions at Royal St. George’s, a meaty links on the south-east coast, were relatively benign all week, with light winds making conditions less challenging than a typical British Open.

ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images – Image courtesy of TaylorMade

“It is an honour to be out here,” said Morikawa. “To be called the championship winner of the year gives me chills. It is giving me chills right now.”

Morikawa, ranked 4th in the world, is the first player to win his first start at two major championships. And undoubtedly, this isn’t the last major for the American star.

What’s in the bag

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (8 degrees)

3-Wood: TaylorMade SIM Ti, (14 degrees)

5-Wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Ti (19 degrees)

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue (19 degrees)

Irons: TaylorMade P770 (4), TaylorMade P7MC (5-9), TaylorMade P730 (PW)

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind 2 (50 degrees), Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (56 degrees), TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees)

Putter: TaylorMade TP Juno

Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Another near miss

Louis Oosthuizen, playing in the final group for the second-straight major championship, never showed the consistent form that led him to a British Open more than a decade ago. With Morikawa not making any missteps, Oosthuizen couldn’t move forward on the front nine, making two bogeys and no birdies. He finished the tournament in a tie for third, another disappointment for the South African, who finished in a tie for second at the PGA Championship, and alone in second at the U.S. Open.

Spieth’s surge

On Saturday, Jordan Spieth bogeyed the final two holes—including a bogey on the final hole after missing a very short putt. He needed a strong final round to win his second British Open, but stumbled on the front with two bogeys. Five birdies over the next eight holes moved him back to the top of the leaderboard, but pars on the final four holes meant he never really challenged Morikawa. He finished at 4-under par for a final total of 13-under, alone in second place.

Canuck Connection

Canadians have put themselves in contention at the majors this year, with Conners having a nice showing at the Masters, and Mackenzie Hughes playing well through three rounds at the U.S. Open. Both showed up at Royal St. George’s in fine form, and that continued into the final round, when the pair were within sight of the leaders. Asked if he had learned from being in contention, Hughes said he felt good heading into the final round. “I don’t think that much has changed,” said Hughes, from Dundas, Ont. “It’s just that you get a bit of belief, you get a bit of confidence, and that can go a long way. “I think I learned a lot … from the last major at Torrey Pines, and it doesn’t guarantee anything for tomorrow, but certainly nice to have that in my back pocket just with some experience and what those feelings are like.”

Unfortunately, neither Canadian could find the magic on Sunday. Both Conners and Hughes start with bogeys out of the gate, and neither really recovered. Hughes finished Sunday at 1-under par and 8-under for the tournament in 6th-place (the best finish by a Canadian at the British Open), while Conners finished at 3-over on Sunday, dropping all the way to a tie for 15th.

Rahm’s return

Jon Rahm’s first major championship after winning the U.S. Open was promising, and he made a nice run on the back nine on Sunday, inevitably coming up just short. He made four consecutive birdies on the back nine to pull within reach of Morikawa, but could only manage two pars on the final holes to finish 4-under for the day and 11-under for the tournament in a tie for third.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *