'Unbelievable': Golf world erupts over youngster's 'miracle' win

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Collin Morikawa (pictured left) sinking a 24-foot putt and (pictured right) celebrating after the win. (Images: PGATour/Getty Images)
Collin Morikawa (pictured left) sinking a 24-foot putt and (pictured right) celebrating after the win. (Images: PGATour/Getty Images)

Youngster Collin Morikawa electrified the golf world over the weekend after he narrowly avoided another playoff heartbreak on Sunday, defeating Justin Thomas to claim his second PGA Tour win at the Workday Charity Open.

The 23-year-old, who suffered a playoff loss at the Charles Schwab Challenge last month, hung on at Muirfield Golf Club in Dublin after fellow American Justin Thomas bogeyed 16 and 18 to send the pair into extra play.

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Tied at 19-under par after four rounds, the pair put on a putting masterclass on the first playoff hole for birdies, with Thomas letting out a roar after sinking a more than 50-foot putt.

But Thomas, the 2017 PGA Championship winner who had been flawless through the first three rounds, missed the fairway on the third playoff hole and got stuck behind a tree, and it was Morikawa who kept his nerve for the win.

But it was a must-make 24-foot putt to the extend the play-off that had fans going wild for the rising star, which included praise from legend and all-time leading Majors leader Jack Nicklaus.

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"Those three holes were a grind, obviously Justin making that birdie putt on that first playoff hole, I had to make it, or else we go home again," said Morikawa.

"I just got a little more comfortable throughout the playoff ... Two playoffs now, and finally got one done.

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Morikawa, who goes to No.13 in the world - one spot ahead of Tiger Woods - said it was a huge stepping stone.

"We got No.1 out of the way. We got No. 2. Let the gates just open and let's keep going."

It was a bitter loss for Thomas, however, who had a two-stroke lead over Norwegian Viktor Hovland going into Sunday.

With three holes to play, he was three shots ahead of Morikawa who made only one birdie which was enough for a six-under 66 to force a playoff.

Collin Morikawa hits a shot on the 15th hole.
Collin Morikawa plays his third shot on the 15th hole during the final round of the Workday Charity Open. (Photo by Stan Badz/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

"It's completely unacceptable to give up a three-shot lead with three to go," Thomas said. "I'm upset, I'm disappointed in myself.

"But at the end of the day it's over with now, and I just need to take some time this afternoon and tonight to build on it and figure out what I can do better going into next week."

Australian Jason Day finished joint seventh on 11 under par, while Matt Jones was 14th on 10 under.

The Muirfield Village Golf Club event was added to the PGA Tour's calendar after the John Deere Classic, which was supposed to be held in Illinois, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With AAP