Kent, July 19 (MNN) US golfer Collin Morkawa made history on Sunday when he won the British Open at the Royal St George’s golf course in Sandwich.
With his win, Morikawa became the first player in the game’s history to win two majors on first attempt. His name stands alone. No Woods, Mickelson, Nicklaus, Hogan, Player or Palmer.
It was his second major win in just eight major starts. He joined Gene Sarazen, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Jordan Spieth as the only players in the last 100 years with multiple major wins before the age of 25, PGA Tour reported.
He also joined Tiger Woods as the only players to win The Open and PGA Championship before the age of 25.
He joined Jones and Nicklaus as the only players to win multiple majors before age 25 when trailing entering the final round.
One is reluctant to tie the 24-year-old’s achievements to these legends, such is their enormity, but it is impossible not to watch the now five-time PGA TOUR winner and be amazed. False dawns for new prodigies have come and gone but in Morikawa we seem blessed with a stayer.
“He’s a special kid. I’m lucky to have him. He seems like he has been there 100 times and he hasn’t,” caddie Jonathan Jakovac says.
“It just goes to his mental strength and his maturity, and you add the freakish ball-striking to an absolute stone-cold demeanor who is very comfortable in all situations … and you get someone special.”
Morikawa also became the third player to win multiple majors with final rounds of 66 or better joining Nicklaus and Johnny Miller.
Furthermore Morikawa finished Sunday with a bogey-free 4-under 66 to best Spieth by two. It was just his second event playing links style golf after last week’s Scottish Open on the European Tour.
“He seems to perform better in big spots,” Jakovac says.
“I’m glad I look calm because the nerves are definitely up there. But you channel these nerves into excitement and energy, and that puts you away from a fear factor into this is something I want,” Morikawa said.
Morikawa? He entered the week ranked 172nd on TOUR in putting. Yet he led the Open Championship with just 111 putts and didn’t have a three-putt all week.
“Definitely one of the best putting performances of my life, especially inside 10 feet. I felt like it was as solid as it’s going to get. I don’t think I really missed many from that distance,” he said.
“Everything about my stats say I’m not a good putter. 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, it’s who can perform well in these situations.
“I’m going to try to figure out what worked today and use that for the future because I know I can putt well in these pressure situations. I’ve just got to keep doing that.”
The intellect both on and off course is palpable. So too is his sincerity in his praise of others within his circle. He even had the crowd sing Happy Birthday to Jakovac as part of his victory speech.
“I just enjoy these moments,” Morikawa said as the secret to success. “I talk about it so much that we love what we do and you have to embrace it. You have to be excited about these opportunities, and that’s how I looked at it today, especially coming down the stretch.
“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. I enjoy these moments and I love it, and I want to teach myself to embrace it a little more… but I just want more.
“When you’re in these moments and you truly love what you do, which I love playing golf and competing against these guys, these are the best moments ever.”