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Collin Morikawa wins Workday Charity Open for 'amazing' second TOUR title

DUBLIN, Ohio – Collin Morikawa knew what he had to do. He had just seen a prayer of a 50-foot birdie putt drop into the cup. And like those two dozen people standing by the 18th green at Muirfield Village, including Rickie Fowler, who was filming the playoff on his smart phone, he had heard Justin Thomas’ guttural yell in celebration. RELATED: Final leaderboard | What's in Morikawa's bag? If Morikawa was going to have any chance of winning the inaugural Workday Charity Open, he had to convert his own birdie putt from 24 feet on that first playoff hole. There was no other option. So, he gathered himself and huddled with his caddie, J.J. Jakovac. “We agreed on a line, hit it perfect exactly how we wanted, and really helped that J.T. had that putt about halfway in between during regulation,” Morikawa recalled. “So, I kind of knew what it did at the end. So as long as I got my line started on there, we had a good shot at making it.” And he did. That clutch putt didn’t seal Morikawa’s victory – he would two-putt from 10 feet on the third extra hole to make that happen – but it was the signature moment in a roller-coaster afternoon of lead changes and emotion that Thomas would later call simply a “bizarre” day. “It would have been a fun day to have some fans just in terms of the ups and downs and the shot making,” acknowledged the disappointed runner-up, who lost a two-shot lead on the front nine, then built it back to three on the back with five birdies and an eagle in an eight-hole stretch. Thomas unraveled with bogeys on the 16th and 18th holes, though, and coupled with Morikawa’s 8-foot birdie putt on No. 17, the stage was set for the frantic and frenetic playoff. As Morikawa later said, it was a “long, long 21 holes.” Later, though, after fulfilling all his media obligations, the winner could relax. He posted a photo of himself holding the crystal trophy on Twitter. Morikawa was sipping one of Muirfield Village’s signature chocolate milkshakes, too. “Well done, it’s not our last battle,” responded a respectful Thomas, who had spoken Saturday about how he expected to have Morikawa as a teammate on Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup teams in the not-too-distant future. The win was the second of Morikawa’s career, which not coincidentally gives him more victories than he has missed cuts and lifted him to sixth in the FedExCup. The steady 23-year-old, who closed with a 66, had a streak of 22 straight weekends played, second only to the great Tiger Woods, that ended at the Travelers Championship two weeks ago. Not to mention, Morikawa nearly won the Charles Schwab Challenge, the first PGA TOUR event played after the COVID-19 hiatus, five weeks ago. He was involved in a playoff there, too, but missed a 4-footer on the first extra hole to lose to Daniel Berger. Morikawa called Sunday’s win, which came on one of the TOUR’s most respected courses in Muirfield Village, “amazing.” And he’ll get a chance to make it an unusual two-in-a-row at Jack Nicklaus’ place this week at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. Morikawa made it clear on Sunday he wants to be known for more than consistency – not only by his words but by his actions. “This is a huge kind of stepping-stone,” he said. “We got No. 1 out of the way, we got No. 2, let the gates just open and let's just keep going because obviously it was a tough loss at Colonial a month ago, but I learned a lot. I learned a lot from last week or a week and a half ago at Travelers after my missed cut. “This is just more positives, more learning for me, and I've got to go back to, okay, what did I do great, what did I do wrong this week, how can I get better, move on to next week and make a lot of birdies.” This time last year, Morikawa had his degree in business administration from the University of California-Berkeley in hand, but his post-graduate work was just beginning on the PGA TOUR. He earned his PGA TOUR card the hard way, gaining status as a special temporary member before winning his sixth start the Barracuda Championship, played opposite the World Golf Championships-FedEx Championship, to lock up job security for the next two years. Ironically, one of those helping him along the way was Thomas, who invited Morikawa to dinner the week he made his pro debut at the RBC Canadian Open. “He's someone that has kind of helped me just get comfortable,” Morikawa said. “Props to him. He's an awesome player, awesome dude, as well. “I wouldn't say he's like been there every practice round for me but making things easier and just telling me when we had that dinner just over a year ago, just telling me if you're good enough, you're going to get out here at some point. Everyone's path is different. You don't know how quick or how slow it's going to get there, but if you're good enough you're going to get here.” Not only has Morikawa, who won a Korn Ferry Tour event as a freshman in college, gotten to the game’s highest level, he’s solidified his spot there. He’s nothing if not a fast learner, and more days like Sunday are only going to help. “It’s not a surprise,” he said honestly. “It's just a lot of belief in myself that I could do this, and like I said, I go back to being comfortable. Comfortable, I think is the best word for a lot of these guys out here because they've been out here for many years. “They know the courses, they know where to hit it, and for me it's getting as comfortable as I can as quickly as I can. I felt a lot more comfortable in this first hole playoff than I did in that last playoff at Colonial, but I still wouldn't say I'm at where I felt perfectly fine. “By the second playoff hole today I felt very comfortable, and I knew let's just play some golf.” And that’s what Morikawa does best.

 

12 Jul 2020


Winner's Bag: Collin Morikawa, Workday Charity Open

Collin Morikawa won his second PGA TOUR title in just his 24th pro-start in a playoff over Justin Thomas at the Workday Charity Open. The 23-year-old rising star bounced back in a big way from the first missed cut of his career two weeks ago at the Travelers Championship. RELATED: Final leaderboard Driver: TaylorMade SIM (8 degrees @ 9.5) Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 70 TX 3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Titanium (15 degrees @ 13.5) Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana White D+ 80 TX Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Hybrid 100 TX Irons: TaylorMade P760 (4, 5), TaylorMade P730 (6-PW) Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09SB, 60), Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (56-14F) Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 Putter: TaylorMade TP Juno Ball: TaylorMade TP5 Grips: Golf Pride Z-Grip Cord

 

12 Jul 2020


Collin Morikawa beats Justin Thomas in playoff to win Workday Charity Open

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) -- Collin Morikawa never looked like a winner at the Workday Charity Open until he tapped in for par on the third playoff hole, capping off a wild finish Sunday at Muirfield Village. Morikawa trailed Justin Thomas by three shots with three holes to play and managed to get into a playoff with a 6-under 66. Then, after watching Thomas hole a 50-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole, he had to make a 24-footer just to stay alive. He could only watch as Thomas had a 10-footer to win on the 18th on the second playoff hole. It finally ended on No. 10 when Thomas had to lay up from behind a tree and made bogey, and Morikawa took two putts from just inside 10 feet for his second career TOUR victory. "It was crazy," Morikawa said. It was a shocker for Thomas, too. He lost a two-shot lead at the start in three holes. He ran off four straight birdies and had 10 consecutive one-putts to build a three-shot lead through 15 holes. Thomas didn't do anything terribly wrong -- a tee shot in the thick collar on the par-3 16th that led to bogey, a 12-foot birdie attempt on the 17th that narrowly missed and a tee shot that found a bunker on the 18th and led to another bogey and a 69. They finished at 19-under 269. Thomas looked like the winner when his 50-foot birdie putt found the center of the cup on the 18th. Morikawa, who lost a playoff at Colonial last month by missing a 3-foot putt, wouldn't let this one go. It was his debut at Muirfield Village, and this victory didn't end with a handshake from Jack Nicklaus. That's for next week at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. Viktor Hovland of Norway had a 71 and finished alone in third. He was in the final group of three young stars, all of whom had the lead at some point during the final round. Hovland's hopes ended with two shots -- finding a bunker from the 10th fairway for bogey, and a driver on the reachable 14 that only missed by about 5 feet, enough to slowly tumble down the bank and into the water. Morikawa also hit driver on the 14th that rolled 12 feet away. He narrowly missed the eagle putt, and then his chances appeared to vanish on the next hole. He was in thick rough right of the fairway on the par-5 15th, unsure he could get over the slope to the next section of fairway. It came out heavy, just through the fairway into light rough 190 yards away. By then, Thomas was already on the green in two. Morikawa went through a bunker to the steep slope by the green, and did well to get up-and-down for par. Still, he was three down with three to play. Thomas missed a 10-foot par putt on the 16th. Morikawa holed a 10-foot birdie putt on the 17th. And then Thomas, who couldn't reach the 18th green from a fairway bunker, missed a 10-foot par putt for the win in regulation. The starting times were moved up to avoid a forecast of thunderstorms. The weather was pleasant for Ohio in July. The final round was far more unpredictable. Thomas, staked a two-shot lead, had gone 55 holes without a bogey at Muirfield Village and then made back-to-back bogeys with a wedge in his hand from the fairway. Hovland was the first to take advantage with a wedge to 2 feet for birdie on No. 3, the first of three straight birdies. Morikawa quickly joined him with a tee shot that banged into the pin on the par-3 fourth and settled inches away for birdie. Then, he hit his second shot to a front pin on the par-5 fifth to 3 feet for eagle. Hovland and Morikawa were tied. Thomas was three shots behind, and looked to be on the verge of fading when he didn't birdie either of the par 5s and had to make an 8-foot par in between them. One shot sent Thomas on his way, or so it seemed. He hit 6-iron to 2 feet for birdie on the eighth. That was the start of four straight birdies, and it was part of a stretch in which Thomas had 10 consecutive one-putt greens. The last of those was a 25-foot eagle putt that gave him a three-shot lead with three holes remaining. It looked like it was over. That turned out to be the just the beginning. It was the second playoff in five events since the PGA TOUR resumed from its COVID-19 pandemic-imposed shutdown, and Morikawa was involved in both of them. Now, they get ready to do it again. Muirfield Village is closed on Monday so crews can get ready for the Memorial Tournament, which starts Thursday.

 

12 Jul 2020


The First Look: the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide

Tiger Woods returns to action for the first time since February as he looks for his sixth title at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. The top five in the FedExCup standings -- Webb Simpson, Justin Thomas, Sungjae Im, Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy -- also are in the field. FIELD NOTES: Tiger Woods will play his first PGA TOUR event since his 68th-place result at The Genesis Invitational. Woods and Peyton Manning topped Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady at Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Charity in May… The Memorial usually has 120 golfers in the field, but this year the field has expanded to 133… After a missed cut at the Workday Charity Open, Brooks Koepka added the Memorial to his schedule as a late entry… Past winner at Muirfield Bryson DeChambeau returns after taking the Workday Charity Open off. DeChambeau has gone T3-T8-T6-1 during the Return to Golf… Other past winners at Muirfield in the field include Cantlay, Jason Dufner, Tom Lehman, David Lingmerth, William McGirt and of course Woods who won in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2009 and 2012… The top 12 in the FedExCup standings are all in the field. FEDEXCUP: Winner gets 500 FedExCup points. COURSE: Muirfield Village Golf Club, 7,456 yards, par 72. Jack Nicklaus’ hometown club opened in 1974. The course, located in Dublin, Ohio, will play host to the TOUR for the second week in a row. It’s long been known as a club that hosts the biggest events in golf including the 2013 Presidents Cup. STORYLINES: The Memorial will be the second event in a row hosted at Muirfield Village after this week’s Workday Charity Open with changes expected in pin placements, tee boxes, rough length and green speeds… Tiger Woods will be looking for his record sixth victory. His last win at Jack’s event came in 2012… Woods has won a record seven PGA TOUR events five or more times, including the Memorial… This is the first time since 2016 that the Memorial will have the top five in the world since 2016… Rory McIlroy has never won the Memorial but does have four top-10 finishes… Twenty-six of the 30 golfers who played in the TOUR Championship are in the field, the most of any tournament since the Return to Golf began. 72-HOLE RECORD: 268, Tom Lehman (1994) 18-HOLE RECORD: 61, John Huston (2nd round, 1996) LAST TIME: Patrick Cantlay surged to victory at the 2019 Memorial Tournament thanks to an 8-under-par 64 in the final round. His second PGA TOUR victory came by two shots over Adam Scott. Cantlay was 5-under through his first nine holes and never looked back from there. Martin Kaymer, Kevin Streelman, and Marc Leishman rounded out the top five. Tiger Woods finished T9 after a 5-under-par 67 on Sunday. HOW TO FOLLOW Television: Thursday-Friday, 2:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 12:30 p.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. (Golf Channel), 3:30 p.m.-7 p.m. (CBS). PGA TOUR LIVE: Thursday-Friday 7:15 a.m.-6:30 p.m. (Featured Groups). Saturday, 8:40 a.m.-3 p.m. (Featured Groups), 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (Featured Holes). Sunday, 8:40 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (Featured Groups), 3:30 p.m.-7 p.m. (Featured Holes). Radio: Thursday-Friday, 12 p.m.-6:30 p.m ET. Saturday, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. ET. Sunday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m. ET (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com/liveaudio).

 

12 Jul 2020


2019-20 Korn Ferry Tour Graduate Reshuffle

2019-20 Korn Ferry Tour graduate reshuffle Reorders occur at the conclusion of these tournaments • The RSM Classic (Nov. 24) • The Genesis Invitational (Feb. 16) • RBC Heritage (June 21) • Workday Charity Open (July 12) ^ - Grayson Murray began the 2019-20 season with a Major Medical Extension. If he fails to meet its terms, he will fall into the graduate reshuffle below for the remainder of the season. NOTE: The following winners have been removed: Lanto Griffin (Houston Open), Brendon Todd (Bermuda Championship), Tyler Duncan (The RSM Classic), Viktor Hovland (Puerto Rico Open). NOTE: Bronson Burgoon was removed and promoted to the Major Medical category when he finished in a five-way T19 at A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier. (He began 2019-20 with a Minor Medical Extension running concurrent with his status as a Korn Ferry Tour Finals grad.) * - In the field at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide as of July 12. # - Top-10 alternates at the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide as of July 12.

 

12 Jul 2020


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