TPC Harding Park, San Francisco, CA — August 9, 2020
As was the case all weekend at the PGA Championship, the lead was too much of a burden to carry. Every day of the tournament at the TPC Harding Park featured a new name at the top of the leaderboard.
Saturday’s leader, Dustin Johnson went birdie, par, bogey, birdie on his first four holes to get to 10 under. But, nine consecutive pars let the field catch up. A bogey on 14 dropped him back to 9 under where he started. Birdies on 16 & 18 to moved hi to -11, it was not enough.
Paul Casey made a run, carding five birdies on the day. A missed green at 13 cost him a stroke when he chipped 20 feet past the hole and two-putted for a bogey. He tied Johnson at 11 under.
Scottie Scheffler and Cameron Champ started the day a stroke behind Johnson. They squandered the opportunity. Scheffler scored three birdies, the 13 was costly for him as well. Short of the green, he chipped to 13 feet of the cup. Two putts resulted in the bogey that left him at 10 under for the tournament.
Champ started to make a move with birdies on the 4th & 6th holes. A double-bogey on 9 dropped Champ back to where he started the day. Exchanging two birdies with two bogeys on the back 9 cost him a shot at his first major.
An Unexpected Name Tops the Leaderboard
A leaderboard crowded with recognizable names did not intimidate a 23-year playing in his first PGA Championship. Collin Morikawa shot a 5 under par 65 Saturday to move into a tie for 4th at -7 with two of those names, Paul Casey and Brooks Koepka.
Birdies on 3 & 4 started his round off in the right direction. Another birdie on the 10th hole took Morikawa into a tie for the lead at 10 under. The number no one could seem to surpass. Lightning struck on the 14th when Morikawa missed the green short and to the right. With the pin position at the left front, it was not a difficult chip.
MORIKAWA!!! CHIPS IT IN FOR THE LEAD pic.twitter.com/5KPm6tkW5Z
— GOLFonCBS (@GOLFonCBS) August 9, 2020
Finally, someone broke through. Morikawa’s chip-in put him in sole possession of the lead at -11. He did not squander the opportunity. After Casey joined him at 11 under, Morikawa stood on the 16th tee with a driver in hand. The par 4 was only 294 yards, but it held a host of trouble around the green. A mistake here could easily derail a championship round.
As the leader in a major with all the pressure, Collin Morikawa dials up this drive? Unreal. pic.twitter.com/dy7VUdCwAc
— GOLFonCBS (@GOLFonCBS) August 10, 2020
After the perfect drive rolled to a stop seven feet from the hole, an easy two-putt birdie would again give Morikawa sole possession of the lead. He stepped up and sank the eagle putt to put a stranglehold on the Wanamaker Trophy.
With a two-stroke lead, the rest of the leaderboard surrendered. Morikawa became the 3rd youngest winner of the PGA Championship. He joins an illustrious group as the 4th golfer to capture the trophy at the age of 23, starting with Jack Nicklaus in 1963. Tiger Woods accomplished the feat in 1999 and Rory McIlroy joined in 2012.
Morikawa only mistake of the day, he knocked the lid off the Wanamaker Trophy while posing for photos.
What Could Have Been
Matthew Wolff started the day tied for 13th at 5 under, a bogey on the 5th hole had him heading in the wrong direction. He closed his opening nine with three straight birdies that moved him to 7 under. An eagle on the 10 put him in contention at 9 under. A bogey at 14 unhinged Wolff’s surge, finishing with birdies at 16 & 18 he tied for 4th at -10.
Jason Day shot a bogey-free 66, it was his lackluster 70 on Saturday that cost him dearly. He joined the group of five golfers that tied for 4th. After four birdies on the front nine took Bryson DeChambeau into a tie for the lead at -10, bogeys on 8 & 9 eliminated his chance. He crawled back to 10 under with two birdies on the back nine. No doubt, DeChambeau feels he could have been in the mix for the championship at the end.
An even-par 70 on Friday cost Tony Finau his chance at the title. Rounds of 67 and 66 brought him into the group at 10 under on the final day.
Tiger watchers. A personal best round of 67 for the tournament weekend brought Tiger to -1 and a tie for 37th.
Results of the 2020 PGA Championship