Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 28 October 2020

Collin Morikawa savours first major and says he's ready for more

American joins Rory McIlroy, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in winning the PGA Championship before turning 24

Collin Morikawa reacts as the lid to the Wanamaker Trophy falls off during the trophy presentation. AFP
Collin Morikawa reacts as the lid to the Wanamaker Trophy falls off during the trophy presentation. AFP

Collin Morikawa savoured his first major title after shooting a final round 64 at Harding Park to claim victory at the PGA Championship, and the 23-year-old American says he is just getting started.

Despite appearing in just his second major, Morikawa, who began playing the game at five-years-old in California, said he felt it was his destiny to hoist the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday.

"When I woke up today, I was like, this is meant to be," he said.

"It doesn't stop here. I've got a very good taste of what this is like."

Morikawa fired a bogey-free 64 to emerge from a crowded leaderboard and win by two shots over Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey at TPC Harding Park.

Morikawa, whose only mistake of the day came when the lid fell off the Wanamaker Trophy as he lifted it up on the 18th green, said he was on "cloud nine" after the win.

"It's hard to think about what this championship means, and obviously it's a major, and this is what guys go for, especially at the end of the their career, and we're just starting," he added.

The only thing missing from Sunday's win was the fans, said Morikawa. Spectators were not allowed on the course in west San Francisco due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I really do miss the fans. I know we all had to have some type of adjustment not having fans," he said.

They were especially missed when he hit the drive of his life on the 294-yard par-four 16th as he was unable to see where the ball landed because a tree was obscuring his view.

It settled seven feet from the cup, leaving him with a putt for eagle that he would sink to set up victory.

Collin Morikawa of the United States celebrates with the Wanamaker Trophy and the champion's watch after winning the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park. AFP
Collin Morikawa of the United States celebrates with the Wanamaker Trophy and the champion's watch after winning the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park. AFP

"This is the one time I really wish there were crowds right there," he said of the drive.

Morikawa, who now has three wins on his resume, said he wanted to be consistently in the hunt for titles, not just at the biggest events.

"The majors are going to be circled, just like everyone else, but I've got to focus on every single week," he said.

"I'm not trying to come out and just win the majors."

With the win, Morikawa joined Rory McIlroy, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in winning the PGA Championship before turning 24.

"It's great company," he said.

"You know, it's been crazy, because this entire start of my professional career, I see all the things comparing (me) to Tiger and ... Tiger is on a completely different level. I think we all know that.

"But any time you're in the conversation of the greats, Jack, Rory, Tiger, no matter who it is, if you're in that conversation, you're doing something well."

Updated: August 10, 2020 07:56 AM

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