American sensation storms to Open victory

3 months ago 35

By AP -- Collin Morikawa gazed adoringly astatine the claret jug, thrust it into the aerial and past gave it a kiss, a two-time large champion astatine property 24.

This clip determination were radical to cheer him.

The American closed with a bogey-free, four-under 66 and won the British Open successful his debut Sunday, becoming the archetypal subordinate to seizure 2 antithetic majors connected the archetypal attempt.

His triumph 11 months agone connected his PGA Championship debut came successful the archetypal large with nary spectators amid the pandemic.

So it was a precise antithetic script for Morikawa, a mature-beyond-his-years Californian, arsenic helium made 1 of the top walks successful play down the 18th fairway astatine Royal St. George's, archetypal to applause and past to a lasting ovation.

Open Champion, Collin Morikawa. (Getty)

After tapping successful for par to triumph by 2 shots implicit Jordan Spieth, helium gave a fist pump earlier applauding the spectators successful the immense grandstand astir the 18th green, portion of a assemblage of 32,000 radical that made for the biggest assemblage successful play since earlier the coronavirus pandemic.

"I americium evidently precise biased being from the US, but I'm seeing immoderate of the champion crowds I person ever seen retired here," Morikawa said successful his triumph code connected No. 18.

"Those are the moments, the fewer seconds that you clasp truthful much," helium added. "You look around, each spot is packed, everyplace is packed with people."

They got to witnesser a subordinate making a historical commencement to his large title career.

Morikawa is halfway to the vocation Grand Slam aft 8 starts and the archetypal subordinate since Bobby Jones successful 1926 to triumph 2 majors successful truthful fewer appearances. He follows Gene Sarazen, Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Spieth successful winning aggregate majors earlier turning 25.

His full of 15-under 265 was a 72-hole grounds successful 15 British Opens astatine Royal St. George's.

"When you marque history," helium said, "it's hard to grasp, it's hard to truly instrumentality it in. ... At 24 years old, it's truthful hard to look backmost astatine the 2 abbreviated years that I person been a pro and spot what I've done due to the fact that I privation more."

Open Champion Collin Morikawa of United States poses with the Claret Jug successful the locker room. (R&A via Getty Images)

He did it with benignant amid immaculate upwind connected the links disconnected Sandwich Bay, flushing shots with his irons and getting up-and-down connected the uncommon occasions helium recovered trouble. He called his putting show 1 of the champion of his abbreviated career, turning a statistical weakness into a strength.

Starting the last circular 1 changeable down Louis Oosthuizen, Morikawa was tied for the pb aft 4 holes and past made 3 consecutive birdies connected Nos. 7-9 to overtake the South African, who hadn't trailed since the 12th spread of his 2nd round.

Morikawa made cardinal par saves — pumping his fist some times — astatine Nos. 10 and 15, betwixt which helium rolled a birdie putt up and implicit a ridge and into the cupful connected the 14th to physique a two-stroke pb helium ne'er lost. Spieth parred his last 4 holes and besides changeable 66.

By making par astatine the past aft different cleanable drive, Morikawa played his last 31 holes without a bogey connected a people that has confounded galore large players due to the fact that of its quirky bounces and undulating fairways.

All the much singular was that this was his archetypal large trial connected a seaside links. Morikawa had small acquisition with this benignant of play earlier playing the Scottish Open past week astatine The Renaissance Club, which is not a accepted links but featured the benignant of choky lies and rolling terrain that prepared him for it. He adjacent had 3 caller irons successful his container this week.

He completed a feat achieved by Ben Curtis connected the aforesaid people successful 2003, winning golf's oldest title successful his links debut.

Collin Morikawa plays his 2nd changeable connected the 18th spread during time 4 of the 149th Open. (R&A via Getty Images)

For Oosthuizen, who was seeking a wire-to-wire triumph and a 2nd claret jug — helium had a runaway triumph astatine St. Andrews successful 2010 — it was different adjacent miss successful a vocation afloat of them. He was runner-up this twelvemonth astatine the PGA Championship and the US Open, 2 of his six second-place finishes astatine majors.

This clip Oosthuizen tied for 3rd with US Open champion Jon Rahm (66) aft closing with a 71 — his archetypal circular not successful the 60s this week. He ne'er recovered from losing his pb with an disfigured bogey connected the par-five seventh hole. He caught mode excessively overmuch shot retired of the greenside bunker with his 3rd shot, which bounced onto the putting aboveground and landed successful a bunker connected the different side.

Morikawa made a regular birdie connected the spread to determination 2 up of Oosthuizen. Spieth had made eagle astatine No.7 a fewer minutes earlier.

"Well I bash cognize 1 thing, the fans astatine the Open are 2nd (or third) to none," Oosthuizen said connected Twitter, having declined to speech to reporters. "Thank you for the unthinkable enactment this week, and congrats to Collin Morikawa who played with people and grit today."

Collin Morikawa shakes hands with Louis Oosthuizen. (Getty)

Spieth had his closest telephone successful a large since winning the British Open successful 2017 astatine Royal Birkdale. Missing an eight-foot par putt astatine No.4 and hitting his tee changeable into a bunker astatine No.6 led to dropped shots. He made up for those with his eagle and played the last 10 holes successful four-under.

"I did everything I could successful the past fewer hours to triumph this championship," Spieth said.

It was his bogey-bogey decorativeness connected Saturday — helium missed a two-foot par putt connected the 18th — that Spieth mostly regretted.

"Had I finished par-par, I'd person been successful the last group," helium said. "And if you're successful the last group, you consciousness similar you person control."

Jordan Spieth reacts aft helium plays a changeable connected the 15th hole. (Getty)

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