24-year-old American Collin Morikawa put on a putting exhibition under pressure with a bogey free final round to claim the Open championship title and hold off a charging Jordan Spieth, who himself was holing putts from all over the greens. . Morikawa shot 67-64-68-66 (15-under 265) to claim the Open Championship on his debut at the famous and historic Royal St. George’s course in Sandwich, on the Southern coast of England.
Morikawa started his day one behind 54-hole leader Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa and took control of the championship with 3 birdies in a row on 7, 8 & 9 and then didn’t leave any opening by holing a couple of superb putts of 18 feet and 10 feet on the 14th and 15th, while Spieth made an eagle and four birdies in a space of 8 holes to apply the pressure. World No 1 Jon Rahm, was impressive – peppering the flags with superlative approach shots but his four birdies in a row came too late and he could only manage an 11 under total to end up tied 3rd with Oosthuizen.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 18, 2021
Morikawa’s total of 265 is now the lowest Open score at Royal St. George’s, beating Greg Norman’s 267 set in 1993.
Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open winner , led the field for over 61 holes, but a costly bogey on the easy par five, 7th was his undoing as he finished with 1-over 71. In 2021 alone, Oosthuizen has been runner-up already at the PGA and US Open, an incredible record in the majors.
Collin revealed in his post ceremony interview that although he looked calm on the outside, the nerves were definitely playing up on the back nine. He channelled that nervous energy into excitement of being in contention, embracing the challenge and wanting that kind of pressure, instead of any fear taking over. He visualised the best possible shot and just stayed focused on hitting each shot the best he could.
Morikawa’s winning cheque of US$ 2.1mn brings his career earnings to US$24 million in just two years besides joining Tiger Woods as the only two players in history to win both the The Open and PGA Championship before turning 25. He also became the only player in history to win both major titles on his debut.