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Collin Morikawa wins WGC-Workday Championship, his 4th PGA Tour victory
That's a nice looking blue-and-gold trophy!
As another weekend comes to an end, another Cal Men’s Golf alum is lifting a fancy PGA Tournament trophy, as well as taking home over $1.8 million in prize money. After Max Homa won the Genesis Invitational last weekend, fellow Cal alum Collin Morikawa cruised to a WGC-Workday Championship victory by shooting -18, 3 strokes better than the trio of Viktor Hovland (Oklahoma State alum), Brooks Koepka (Florida State alum), and Billy Horschel (Florida alum).
This is Collin Morikawa’s 4th overall PGA Tour win, including a Major Championship that was the PGA Championship last year. This is his first WGC level win. The WGC-Workday Championship is one of the four annual World Golf Championship events, just below the Golf Majors in prestige (akin to the Masters event in ATP tennis). At a tricky Concession Golf Club course in Bradenton, Florida, Morikawa found a groove and confidence in his brand new putting technique when he made a big move in Round 2 on Friday. He shot a 64, which tied for his PGA career-best while registering 9 birdies to be just a stroke off the lead. The birdies kept coming early in Round 3 on Saturday, with 8 through the first 12 holes. Morikawa did bogey 2 of the final few holes, but he still had a two-stroke lead entering Sunday.
Sunday started a little bit shaky for Collin as he bogeyed the 2nd hole as well as missed a couple of putts for birdies. His playing partner Billy Horschel momentarily tied him before Morikawa regained the lead for good with 3 birdies between holes 5 through 9. Playing with maturity and confidence beyond his young age, Morikawa would not relinquish that lead. The NBC commentators today repeated the often quoted description by Cal Men’s Golf head coach Walter Chun that Morikawa is “an old soul”.
Morikawa clinched this victory with this putt and gave a fist pump like a certain golf icon.
The entire golf world (and beyond) were shocked by the horrific single-vehicle traffic accident that caused serious injuries to Tiger Woods early this week. Many golfers in the PGA and other tours opted to wear on this Sunday the iconic but ugly red-shirt/black-pants of the one-time Stanford attendee. I am no fashionista, but quite frankly that red/black look would have paired so poorly with the WGC-Workday Championship’s blue and gold trophy.
The 2019 Cal graduate honored Tiger Woods by matching Tiger as the only two people to have won a major and a World Golf Championship event before turning 25. Morikawa had just turned 24 weeks ago on February 6th. Morikawa will surely continue to match and possibly surpass many other milestones set by a young Tiger.
Collin Morikawa has a new putting grip that he only unveiled last weekend at the Genesis Invitational. Morikawa did not putt well last weekend, but the new technique certainly worked this weekend despite looking somewhat unconventional. An improved putting can turn Collin Morikawa from an already great player to a potential best player on the tour. Golf and Cal fans will certainly monitor whether these putting improvements are here to stay.
Coming off his victory last weekend, Max Homa followed that up with -6, good for a tie for 22nd.
Just a mere 6 years ago, no Cal Men’s Golf alum has won a PGA Tour event. James Hahn broke through with a win in 2015 and another one in 2016. Michael Kim got one in 2018. Homa and a recently graduated Collin Morikawa won events in 2019. Morikawa got two more, including a Major, in 2020. Just two months into 2021, Cal alumni already have two event wins. How many will the Cal alumni on the PGA Tour get before the year is over?
Collin Morikawa and Max Homa, with his improved mental, are weekly threats to win events. Ben An, James Hahn, Michael Kim, and Brandon Hagy are also PGA Tour cardholders.
The PGA Tour is now a Bear Territory!
List of Cal Men’s Golf Alum’s PGA Tour victories:
James Hahn at the Northern Trust Open, February 22, 2015
James Hahn at the Wells Fargo Championship, May 8, 2016
Michael Kim at the John Deere Classic, Jul 15, 2018
Max Homa at the Wells Fargo Championship, May 5, 2019
Collin Morikawa at the Barracuda Championship, Jul 28, 2019
Collin Morikawa at the Workday Charity Open, Jul 12, 2020
Collin Morikawa at the PGA Championship, Aug 9, 2020 (Golf Major!!)
Max Homa at the Genesis Invitational, February 21, 2021
Collin Morikawa at the WGC-Workday Championship, February 28, 2021 (World Golf Championship event!)