Sandwich—Collin Morikawa’s ambition has no limits after the 24-year-old sealed his second major with a flawless display on Sunday to win the British Open on debut.
The American finished on 15 under par to hold off compatriot Jordan Spieth as a crowd of 32,000 spectators at Royal St. George’s were treated to a titanic battle for the Claret Jug.
Those in attendance may look back on Morikawa’s performance as a landmark moment for the world number four, who now has a pair of major titles to his credit in just over two years as a professional.
“I’ve had belief in myself since turning pro that I can do it,” said Morikawa.
“When it’s coming to these tournaments, courses and styles that I have never played, I do my homework Monday to Wednesday to know what I need to do.”
Morikawa is the first male golfer to win two majors in his first eight appearances since 1934 after winning the 2020 US PGA Championship and he also finished in the top-10 at this year’s US PGA and US Open.
‘Best moments ever’
“I just want more. When you’re in these moments and you truly love what you do, and I love playing golf and competing against these guys, these are the best moments ever because the nerves push you to just be a better person,” said Morikawa, who will now look to win an Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.
Spieth did everything he could to test Morikawa’s mettle as the 2017 British Open champion played the final 12 holes in six under par, at one point cutting his rival’s lead to a single stroke.
But where others may have felt the heat in sweltering conditions as temperatures topped 30 degrees celsius on England’s south-east coast, Morikawa coolly completed a bogey-free 66 to finish four under for the day.
“I’m glad I look calm because the nerves are definitely up there, but you channel these nerves into excitement and energy,” added Morikawa.
Spieth knows better than most the demands that come with being a rising star in golf.
The now 27-year-old won back-to-back Masters and US Open titles in 2015, a year in which he finished in the top four in all four majors.
He then triumphed at the 2017 British Open, but that was Spieth’s last major success and he only ended a four-year wait for a PGA victory in April at the Texas Open.
“Clearly, with the shots he’s hit and the putts he’s holed, he’s not afraid of high pressure situations and winning a major championship,” said an admiring Spieth of Morikawa.
“At 24, obviously there’s a bright future ahead.
“I think winning one (a major) can happen to a lot of people playing really good golf in one week, and I think winning two, he’s obviously proven that this stage is where he wants to be.
“He’s got the potential and the game, and the head, to be able to manage any kind of bumps in the road.”