23-year-old Collin Morikawa quickly took the lead on Sunday in the final round of the PGA Championship at San Francisco's Harding Park, just when it seemed like a crowded leaderboard was heading for a playoff.
The UC Berkeley alum beat out two players who were more favored to win the tournament, Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey, as well as some of the best players in the game of golf who were also just a couple of shots off the lead or tied for the lead at some point over the weekend — including Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau, who finished tied for fourth.
As the Associated Press reports, Morikawa may have had a slight advantage over some of the other players having played Harding Park many times while in the golf program at Cal. And he approached the win a little less than humbly, telling reporters, "It’s crazy because it feels like this is where I’m supposed to be."
This was Morikawa's first-ever win in a major tournament, and he joins the elite ranks of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus among players who won their first major at age 23.
When asked if he expected to win a major at such a young age, Morikawa said, "Of course. Why not? If you believe in yourself — and I believe I can do it —why not have it as one of my goals?"
It seems that Warriors great Steph Curry managed to get into the mix as a spectator at the tournament by working as a "reporter" for something called "Underrated Media." (Curry introduced himself and said that the company's name was "a working title, just started about an hour ago.") A masked Curry asked Morikawa the first question in a press conference after the win, inquiring whether Morikawa was watching the leader board during the final few holes as he jumped into the lead.
Morikawa appears to lose his cool for a moment, as you can see in the video below, and he says, "Wow! My caddie is a huge Warriors fan … but yeah, I did. I knew where I stood."
Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images