Now at @PGAChampionship official site, 10 Notes to Know from Sunday:— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) August 10, 2020
- Morikawa: lowest closing 36 hole score ever in major
- DJ the first since Nicklaus
- Collin's uprecedented statistical hat trick
- Lowest scoring day ever at the PGA, and more...https://t.co/OQlcwBFpTU
Besting a stacked leaderboard and some of the biggest names in the sport with a pair of all-time shots on the back nine, 23-year-old Collin Morikawa pulled off a stunner on Sunday, shooting a 6-under 64 in the final round at TPC Harding Park to win the 2020 PGA Championship. Morikawa solidified his role as the face of golf's youth movement, finishing two shots clear of the field at 13 under for the tournament to capture the first major of his career in just his second opportunity.
With the victory, Morikawa joins Jack Nicklaus (1963), Tiger Woods (1999) and Rory McIlroy (2012) as Wanamaker Trophy holders at age 23. He's the third-youngest player to win the PGA Championship in the stroke play era and also the ninth golfer to win the event in his debut.
The association with those legends is far from what will be remembered from his win in San Francisco. No, it will how Morikawa took a championship hanging in the balance and snatched it from the game's biggest names with some of the best shot-making we've seen in recent major championship history. And it did it when it mattered the most -- the final few holes of the tournament.
It started at No. 14, when he rebounded from a bad second shot to chip in for birdie and break the logjam at 10-under par that had been the ceiling for much of the afternoon. That lead had been touched by as many as seven players throughout the day, but Morikawa's chip-in created a leader they all had to chase.
Then Morikawa delivered a drive that will go down as one of the best shots in PGA Championship history. His tee shot at No. 16 -- a 294-yard drivable par-4 that created the ultimate risk-reward balance for all of the leaders down the stretch -- was hit on a perfect line that tucked snug to 7 feet. Morikawa followed that epic drive with an eagle putt to put the tournament on ice.
The book on Morikawa has always included compliments for his ball-striking and his even-keeled nature with his putting identified as a weakness. To walk up and bury that putt -- and several more down the stretch -- showcased a well-rounded superstar in total control of his talents.
Starting with Morikawa, let's break down the top of the leaderboard at the 2020 PGA Championship.
1. Collin Morikawa (-13): While this PGA Championship will be the starting point for many, don't forget that Morikawa really solidified himself as one of the stars of 2020 when he beat out Justin Thomas in a playoff at Muirfield Village in the Workday Charity Open. That was a warning shot across the bow, and this was a ship-sinking missile from the best ball-striker on the PGA Tour.
T2. Dustin Johnson (-11): A 54-hole lead with a final pairing treatment and, yet again, D.J. comes up short of a major championship. Unlike some other similar instances from his major championship history, this one included no obvious errors or infamous moments. Two late birdies, both after Morikawa had pulled away, give him a runner-up status, but for most of the round, he was hovering at or just above even par, hanging on in contention thanks to his work prior to Sunday. Johnson didn't do much wrong, but he didn't do enough right to win.
T2. Paul Casey (-11): This is only Casey's second top-10 finish at the PGA Championship, but ending up near the top at a major is nothing new for the 43-year-old Englishman. This is his 10th top-10 finish and first runner-up at a major championship, and while he played good enough to emerge from the pack, it wasn't enough to keep pace with Morikawa. Great golf all week, just a few magical shots short of hoisting the Wannamaker.
T4. Jason Day (-10): This was a championship that seemed ripe for Day take as he sought his second PGA Championship. His game had been in great shape in the last three tournaments heading into the week, and he looked as healthy as he's been in a few years working his way around TPC Harding Park as one of the leaders all week after firing an opening-round 65. Unfortunately, it was Morikawa's time, but the success here should be noted as we move forward with an eye on the next two major championships.
T4. Bryson DeChambeau (-10): Before Morikawa's epic drive on 16, Bryson nearly set himself up for an equally dramatic tournament-changing moment. His drive bounced around the edge of the green and hung up at the top of the greenside bunker, giving DeChambeau a 16-foot look at eagle. He ended up having to settle for birdie, and thus remained in the log jam at 10-under. Frustration will set in when back-to-back bogeys at 8 and 9 are realized as the moments he lost the championship, but his hot start and strong finish should be acknowledged as proof positive that DeChambeau's new game is major championship ready.
T4. Tony Finau (-10): Compared to Bryson's huffing and puffing, Finau's version of the bash brothers approach looks silky smooth. Watching those two work their way around TPC Harding Park was a joy, but Finau's undoing wasn't as much a single hole or pair of holes as a field average putting performance that left him with a lot of pars even after playing holes well.
T4. Matthew Wolff (-10): It was Wolff's first major championship, and he nearly forced his way into a playoff after firing a 65 early in the afternoon. Wolff didn't have a bad round all week; he just kept lurking around and then suddenly arrived as a contender to win with the low score in the clubhouse while the leaders were getting started on the back nine. Wolff battled with Morikawa at the NCAA level and will have another opportunity in the future to repeat that back-and-forth over the next years and decades.
T4. Scottie Scheffler (-10): Speaking of first-timers, Scheffler did not buckle like you might expect a rookie would playing alongside Johnson in the final pairing on Sunday at a major championship. There were mistakes that prevented him from scoring opportunities, but a three-birdie, one-bogey round may have been good enough in other circumstances.
9. Justin Rose (-9): Really strong week for Rose, who has been working through club changes and adjustments in his game throughout 2020. He showed some signs of life in the return from lockdown and played solid golf throughout the week in San Francisco. This is his third top 10 at the PGA Championship and 17th top 10 at a major, but Rose is still looking to snap a winning drought that dates back to January 2019.
T10. Xander Schaufele, Joel Damen, Cameron Champ (-8): The late tee time put Champ in the spotlight, and he wasn't able to deliver enough shots to keep up when the leaders started to push the pace low. Still rounding into form, Champ never fell from contention but remained a stroke or two off the lead for much of the afternoon. When we talk about the future of golf looking bright, it's not just Morikawa and Wolff. Champ, 25, is very much of a part of that conversation. Schauffele had one of his best rounds of the week on Sunday in yet another top 10 at a major, always seeming to quietly be just a few strokes away from breakthrough through a major champion.
T13. Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed, Daniel Berger, Si Woo Kim (-7): Rahm quietly worked his way up the leaderboard by getting at least a stroke better each day, eventually carding a 66 in the final round. A first-round 70 and no early low numbers kept him on the back burner, unlike Berger who started hot with back-to-back 67s to get the late-pairing treatment on the weekend.
T29. Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood, Harold Varner III, Doc Redman (-3): After spending Saturday evening dropping haymakers in press conferences about how the rest of the leaderboard didn't have the major experience and success he did, Koepka fell far short of his big talk with a wet sandwich of a final round at TPC Harding Park. Things were off from the start, and the 4-over 74 will go down as the moment when the golf world moved on from believing that Koepka is the major championship king. He's got too many challengers now to think confidence alone will result in top- 0s, especially with even younger stars like Morikawa and Wolff fearlessly joining the fray.
T33. Rory McIlroy and three others (-2): McIlroy described the status of his game as one step forward, one step back on Sunday afternoon, pointing to a birdie or better count (13) that could have been good enough to win had it not been for the equally disappointing bogey or worse count (14). He feels like things are close, but at the same time, there's not an overwhelming sense that the former World No. 1 is the biggest threat at a major championship.
T37. Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson and four others: Tiger's hot putting on Thursday proved to be a bit of false hope for his title contention, but his Sunday round of 67 (the best score of the week) was a reminder that we're nowhere close to panic mode regarding the state of his game. The swing looks good and he got through the week healthy, so we should still consider him a factor in the playoffs and the two major championships we have left on the calendar in 2020. Thomas, on the other hand, had arguably higher expectations after reaching No. 1 in the world and never seemed to have the goods, but he was a grinder until the end and found enough ways to bail himself out to finish under par.
Check out the complete leaderboard at the top of this story or click here for more detailed scoring.