'So grateful': Woman behind Collin Morikawa's PGA triumph

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Collin Morikawa and girlfriend Katherine Zhu, pictured here after the US PGA Championship.
Collin Morikawa and girlfriend Katherine Zhu. Image: Getty/Instagram

Collin Morikawa is the toast of the golf world after his remarkable victory at the US PGA Championship on Sunday.

Morikawa capped his meteoric rise since turning professional 14 months ago by beating out a field of golf's biggest names to claim a two-shot victory in the first major of 2020.

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The 23-year-old American, playing just his second major, shot a final-round 64 for a 13-under-par total while England's Paul Casey (66) and American Dustin Johnson (68) were runners up at San Francisco's TPC Harding Park.

Morikawa and girlfriend Katherine Zhu have now been thrust into the global spotlight after she joined him in celebrating his victory with the Wanamaker Trophy.

Zhu is a capable golfer in her own right and has previously credited the sport in helping their relationship flourish.

“Golf is such a big part of my life. It’s taught me to be strong when things aren’t going well. It’s taught me to respect others around me,” Zhu said previously.

“Most importantly, golf has created opportunities that have made lifelong memories that I’ll cherish forever.

“I’m so grateful for this amazing game.”

Morikawa and Zhu met while playing golf at college and she’s caddied for him on the PGA tour a number of times.

“We met in college and just clicked. It's crazy because I won my first college tournament that next week and we've done pretty good since - it's really fun,” Morikawa said earlier this year.

The happy couple both admitted things can get competitive on the golf course.

“Always, we never let each other win,” Morikawa said.

“I think she beats me on probably 70 per cent of our chipping competitions. It actually makes me a better player. What's great about her is that we're always competing.

“To have her around [on the PGA Tour] on off weeks when no one's around, she can always bring a wedge to the course and we can always do something fun.”

Morikawa makes history in PGA triumph

Morikawa’s was the lowest final round by a PGA champion since Australia's Steve Elkington fired 64 to win the 1995 edition.

“It's amazing,” Morikawa said after being handed the Wanamaker Trophy and $US1.98 million ($A2.76m).

“It's been a life goal (to win a major), as a little kid, watching all these professionals, and this is always what I've wanted to do.”

Morikawa joins an illustrious group of greats to have won a major before the age of 24 including Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros and Rory McIlroy.

Collin Morikawa, pictured here celebrating with the Wanamaker Trophy and girlfriend Katherine Zhu.
Collin Morikawa celebrates with the Wanamaker Trophy and girlfriend Katherine Zhu after winning the 2020 PGA Championship. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

“Any time you're in the conversation of the greats, Jack, Rory, Tiger, you're doing something well,” Morikawa said.

Although COVID-19 prevented fans from attending the PGA, it was one of the most dramatic finishes to a major in recent memory.

Seven players were tied for the lead late in the round before Morikawa chipped in for birdie at the 14th to break the stalemate.

He then smashed a drive at the short, 293-yard par-4 16th and drained the seven-foot putt for a brilliant eagle to cruise to victory.

with AAP