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Collin Morikawa’s 2020 PGA Championship title hinged on his drive at No. 16

Here’s the deal.

Collin Morikawa is just not of the mindset {that a} plaque ought to be planted on the tee field of the shortish par-4 sixteenth gap at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco to memorialize his ‘Shot Heard ’Round the World’ within the 2020 PGA Championship.

This regardless of the drive on the outlet that learn 294 yards on the scorecard coming to relaxation simply 7 ft from the flagstick. Despite the strain contemplating he hit the drive when he was tied for the lead on an August Sunday within the first main championship performed within the silence of a COVID-19 world. Despite the next profitable eagle putt all however cementing possession of the Wanamaker Trophy and giving the Kid from Cal, a pup of 23 years at the time, his first main triumph and third PGA Tour title in simply 29 begins.

And regardless of many in golf’s biosphere hailing the drive as among the best pictures ever hit not solely within the historical past of the PGA Championship however within the prolonged document of all main championships.

It’s not that the extraordinarily clever Morikawa, who has a level in enterprise administration, is belittling the magnitude of the drive. For one factor, he isn’t the bragging sort, nor does he thirst for idolization. For one other, he simply thinks it shouldn’t be excessively saluted seeing as there have been different pictures through the spherical that proved as pivotal.

And as he stated, “I didn’t have to do anything special.”

In different phrases, Morikawa made the atypical feel and look extraordinary.

“It was 100 percent the right play,” Morikawa stated. “We had practiced not going for it. But we never thought the tees would be up that far, that the pin would be that accessible. Normally on drivable par 4s you have to cut something in, or hit it really high, or bust a 3-wood.

“This was absolutely a stock driver for me. I teed it up and hit a great drive.”

PGA: PGA Championship - Final Round

PGA: PGA Championship – Final Round

Collin Morikawa reacts after placing on the sixteenth inexperienced through the last spherical of the 2020 PGA Championship golf event at TPC Harding Park. (Photo: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)

Downplayed or not, the drive will endlessly be the defining second of the 102nd version of the PGA Championship, a tense contest that noticed 10 gamers maintain at least a share of the lead at one time or one other within the last spherical. A bunch that included the star energy of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Jason Day, Paul Casey, Tony Finau and Bryson DeChambeau.

And the play on 16 proved the distinction. Morikawa gained his first main in simply his second attempt, ending two pictures away from Casey and Johnson. He signed for rounds of 69-69-65-64 to complete at 13 beneath; his 129 on the weekend a PGA Championship document beforehand held by Tiger Woods.

But neither the 8-degree TaylorMade SIM driver with a Mitsubishi Diamana D+ LTD 70 TX shaft nor the TaylorMade TP Collection Juno putter are a part of a show within the World Golf Hall of Fame or the PGA of America headquarters.

“The clubs are at my house with a bunch of other clubs,” stated Morikawa, who added that every isn’t anyplace close to the Wanamaker Trophy that’s prominently displayed in his Las Vegas abode. “Definitely not framed.”

Framed or not, the 2 golf equipment – and Morikawa – delivered a second that can dwell on within the chronicles of golf. And Morikawa will endlessly bear in mind each little element concerning the seventieth gap he performed that week.

For occasion, he was working sizzling as he headed to the tee, fuming that he had not transformed for birdie on the 69th gap regardless of an excellent drive, cast-iron shot and fantastic putt. But as he took just a few extra steps, he noticed the tees had been means up.

That’s when he shifted gears inside his mind.

“I was so focused on what type of shot I needed to hit,” he stated.

As was his caddie, J.J. Jakovac. He walked off the yardage – the tees had been 28 yards from the again fringe of the tee field – and have become one with Morikawa.

“How far is it?” Morikawa requested.

“278 front, 292 hole,” Jakovac responded.

“And the wind’s off the left, a little hurt?”


“It’s a perfect driver, isn’t it?”


“And he just grabbed driver,” Jakovac stated. “It literally could not have been a better distance for him. It’s cool, he’s jacked up, and he carries driver 275. He hit it. I ran out on the tee box to watch the first bounce and just started hoping for one straight bounce. I saw the ball come down and kick dead straight and then I said, ‘Go in the hole.’”

It did a couple of minutes later.

“At the tee box I couldn’t tell how close it was. As I walked up, I saw it was 7 feet and the pressure started to heat up,” Morikawa stated. “But all I was focused on was the putt. I had to make the putt. A two-shot lead is so much bigger than a one-shot lead late on Sunday in a major.

“It didn’t look like it was breaking much. I brought J.J. in for a read. I wasn’t nervous about missing the putt. I just really wanted to make the putt. I knew the putt would change a lot of things, and the drive wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t make it. I will always remember our read. We played it 1/3 of the ball outside of the hole on the left edge. And I buried it.

“The putt is etched in my brain.”

PGA Championship

PGA Championship

Collin Morikawa poses with the Wanamaker Trophy after successful the 2020 PGA Championship golf event at TPC Harding Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Taking within the drama-filled last spherical step for step with Morikawa had been Rick Sessinghaus, Morikawa’s long-time swing and psychological coach and mentor; Andrew Kipper, his agent; Katherine Zhu, his girlfriend; and some members of the media and some volunteers.

“It was an out-of-body experience, where you almost don’t realize what you just watched,” Kipper stated. “(Swing coach) Sean Foley, who works with Cameron Champ who was paired with Collin, was with us. He turned to Rick and said, ‘He just hit one the best shots in major championship history.’ And to me, I think the shot is sort of underrated. Maybe if there would have been fans there it would be celebrated even more.”

Sessinghaus agreed, that the shortage of spectators and the roars that might have ensued tempers the drive and putt. But Sessinghaus will always remember it.

“It’s the top moment of my career as a coach, watching my student do what he did on the 16th hole and win,” he stated. “Top-10 moment of my life.”

For Morikawa, nonetheless, it was only one top-10 second of the ultimate spherical. Also on his checklist are the 25-foot putt he made for par on the primary gap, the 35-footer he made for par on the sixth, and the 50-foot chip for birdie he made on the 14th gap.

“In my head, all I think about the drive was it was a good shot,” he stated. “I’ve heard people say it’s one of the best in major championship history. But to me, the putt on the 16th was more important, the chip on 14 was more important, the two par putts I made on 1 and 6 were more important.

“Those shots will play in my head a lot more.”


Stats say Collin Morikawa is elite, even as his putting holds him back

‘He just loves being there as much as I do’: Collin Morikawa and caddie J.J. Jakovac form perfect partnership

Collin Morikawa’s longtime teacher Rick Sessinghaus saw the ‘it’ factor early in a curious 12-year-old

Collin Morikawa’s Goliath-sized game, curious mind give the defending PGA champ staying power

Pinemeadow Golf - Custom Golf Clubs

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