The 23-year-old major winner who's made breaking records a habit
CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 8/10/2020, 12:03 p.m.
By Ben Morse, CNN
(CNN) -- As the PGA Championship entered its final day on Sunday and, at one point, six players shared the lead, all attention was on the usual suspects: Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose.
But it was a 23-year-old from Los Angeles, California, who separated himself from all the big hitters to claim his first major at just the second time of asking.
Collin Morikawa -- who finished on 13-under after a final-round six-under 64 -- won the first major of 2020, finishing two shots ahead of Johnson and Paul Casey at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. His total weekend score of 129 is the lowest ever by a major winner.
While there were no fans to applaud the debut PGA Championship winner -- with just a few cheers and some clapping from the individuals who were present following his winning eagle putt on the 16th hole -- Morikawa's victory sent shockwaves across the golfing landscape. But, according to the US golfer himself, it is just the beginning.
"It doesn't stop here. I've got a very good taste of what this is like, what a major championship is like," Morikawa -- who went to college at the University of California, Berkeley -- said after his victory.
"The majors are going to be circled in, just like everyone else, but I've got to focus on every single week. I'm trying to win every single week. I'm not trying to come out and just win the majors. I'm 23. This is my first full year.
"I love golf. I love every part of it. I love being in this position and I love just being able to come out here and play with a bunch of guys that love the sport, too."
'It's been crazy'
Just 15 months ago, Morikawa was still in college. Just 14 months ago, he made his professional debut.
Even before turning professional, he had had a distinguished amateur career, spending time as the top-ranked player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
It took him just four PGA Tour events to finish in the top three. It took him just six tournaments to win, doing so at the Barracuda Championship in 2019. He started his PGA Tour career by making 22 consecutive cuts, and only Tiger Woods has started his career by making more.
Since the return from the break due to the coronavirus pandemic, he's been in red-hot form. He finished second in the Charles Schwab Challenge in June before winning the Workday Charity Open last month.
Morikawa now has three PGA Tour wins in just 29 starts. Remarkably, he has more wins that missed cuts.
A California boy playing in a California major, in a typical major, the 16th hole would normally be lined with fans cheering on the hometown favorite.
But due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there were only a few stewards, marshals and other players to watch him sink his winning putt, which was the only dampener for Morikawa.