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It’s actually a disgrace there weren’t followers in attendance on the PGA Championship on Sunday, as a result of their cheers from throughout TPC Harding Park would have elevated an already distinctive showdown.
(Sure, it was the correct and correct factor to do to maintain followers away from the course. We’d all moderately see golf with no followers than no golf in any respect. Simply would’ve been good, is all I’m saying.)
Collin Morikawa fired a final-round 64 to assert his first main championship — in his first main look as an expert — on Sunday with a efficiency as regular as you’ll ever see. He outlasted six totally different gamers who had been tied with him on the prime of the leaderboard. He unleashed the shot of a lifetime to place distance between himself and the sphere. And he remained clean and regular as he completed out the 2 most necessary holes of his life.
It was stellar golf, even when nearly no person noticed it reside.
The setup right here was nothing in need of distinctive: one main winner who’s let too many slip away (Dustin Johnson), one other main winner whose slender window appeared to have closed (Jason Day), a veteran who’s by no means introduced house one of many Massive 4 prizes (Paul Casey), the man who’s been the middle of the golf universe these final two months (Bryson DeChambeau), and an entire herd of younger gamers simply on the verge of breaking by way of (Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Champ, Morikawa, Tony Finau, Matthew Wolff).
Lurking behind all of them: golf’s personal Grim Reaper, Brooks Koepka, the odds-on favourite to win and a man who many anticipated to carve proper by way of this leaderboard prefer it was heat butter. Solely it didn’t occur that method. Koepka had, for him, a galactic meltdown, going four-over on the entrance 9 to eject himself from the match earlier than he may even put the concern of God into anybody else on the leaderboard.
Coming into Sunday, the prime goal of Koepka’s needling was Johnson, who, as Koepka identified Saturday, had “solely gained one” main coming into the day. But it surely was worse than that: Sunday marked the fourth time Dustin Johnson held no less than a share of the lead coming into the ultimate day of a serious, the prior occasions being the 2010, 2015 and 2018 U.S. Opens. He gained precisely zero of these, making him the fifth participant to begin 0-for-Three in majors by which he had a final-day lead. No participant had ever gotten to 0-4.
Not like a lot of these different majors, DJ didn’t implode within the opening holes, and even the entrance 9. He calmly carded a one-under entrance 9, backing up his solely bogey with a right away birdie, and made the flip showing in fine condition to saunter proper to that oh-so-difficult second main.
There was only one drawback: no person else flinched, both. As Johnson made the flip, 12 gamers had been inside two photographs of the lead.
Wolff hit the clubhouse shortly earlier than 7:30 Japanese, ending with a 65 to set the preliminary bar at -10. Shortly afterward, six extra gamers stood at that mark — seven gamers, tied for the lead, with lower than seven holes remaining within the match. Becoming a member of Wolff on the prime had been Johnson, Morikawa, Casey, Day, Finau and Scheffler, with DeChambeau one stroke behind.
After which the trickiness started. Dangle tight, that is the place it will get chaotic.
Morikawa, who gained the very first PGA Tour match he performed as an expert, started to place distance between himself and the sphere when he chipped in on 14 to get to -11 and the solo lead.
A couple of minutes later, Casey birdied 16 to climb right into a tie for the lead. Scheffler dropped off the tempo, however DeChambeau birdied his technique to -10. Day completed out at -10, tied for the clubhouse lead on the time. In the meantime, Johnson bogeyed 14 to drop two strokes again. One miscue, that’s all it takes.
Morikawa, all of 23 years previous, then unleashed an excellent tee shot on 16 that left a brief eagle putt. He drained it to take a two-shot lead over Casey at -13 with two holes to play.
DeChambeau and Finau then wrapped up at -10, and Morikawa missed by two revolutions of the ball a birdie putt that might have hammered the door shut. Casey, in the meantime, who holds the file for many main begins with no win — 64 — completed out at -11 to remove all of the gamers at -10.
Johnson tried to battle his method again, chipping in from the perimeter at 16 — once more, that is the place the gang might need come in useful — however he had solely two holes left to make up three strokes, a niche he couldn’t shut.
That left Morikawa alone on the prime, one of many youngest main winners in golf historical past. He was all of two months previous when Tiger Woods gained his first main, at Augusta. And now he’s setting out on a journey that appears extremely vivid.
Jay Busbee is a author for Yahoo Sports activities. Comply with him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him with suggestions and story concepts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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