Magical Collin Morikawa wins US PGA Championship in San Francisco

23-year-old lands Wanamaker Trophy in just second major

Collin Morikawa kisses the Wanamaker Trophy after closing with a 64, equalling the best round of the week, to win the 102nd US PGA Championship by two shots at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Picture: Getty Images
Collin Morikawa kisses the Wanamaker Trophy after closing with a 64, equalling the best round of the week, to win the 102nd US PGA Championship by two shots at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Picture: Getty Images

Collin Morikawa produced a moment of magic to break free on a congested leaderboard as he won the 102nd US PGA Championship in just his second major appearance.

The astonishing feat also saw the American join three of the game's greatest players - Jack Nicklaus (1963), Tiger Woods (1999) and Rory McIlroy (2012) - to land this prize the age of 23.

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In a thrilling final round in golf's first men's major in just under 13 months, seven players were tied for the lead at one point on the back nine before Morikawa made a telling thrust at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

Making the most of a lucky break with his tee, he chipped in for a birdie-3 at the 14th to become the first player to move to 11-under-par in the battle for the PGA of America's Wanamaker Trophy.

Englishman Paul Casey, 20 years older than Morikawa, joined him briefly after producing a brilliant up and down from a greenside bunker at the 16th before Morikawa broke his heart with a wonder shot at the same hole.

His drive at the 294-yard par 4 came to rest just seven feet away and the man who spent four years at the University of California in Berkeley, close to San Francisco, confidently rolled in the putt to open up a title-winning advantage.

Two solid pars to finish saw Morikawa sign off with a brilliant six-under 64, equalling the lowest round of the week, for a 13-under 267 total, winning by two shots from Casey (66) and Dustin Johnson (68), with Matthew Wolff (65), Jason Day (66), Bryson DeChambeau (66), Tony Finau (66) and Scottie Scheffler (68) sharing fourth on 10-under.

Morikawa's victory came in just his second major and he became the first player to win on his debut in this event since Keegan Bradley in 2011. He's now won three times in just b28 starts in his rookie season on the PGA Tour and will move to No 4 in the world.

"Its amazing," said Morikawa after seeing the lid of the Wanamaker Trophy come flying off after he lifted it aloft. "It's been a life goal as a little kid

"I felt very comfortable from the start of my career, but to fnally come out here and win in pretty much my second home is pretty special."

On the event's defining moment, he added: "We were hoping for a good bounce and we got it."

It was a brilliant effort from Casey, who was bidding to become the oldest first-time major champion since Roberto de Vicenzo at the 1967 Open Championship.

He produced a composed last-day peformance from start to finish, but it just wasn't to be despite digging deep to make two birdies in the last four holes.

"I played wonderful golf, simple as that," said Casey. "Collin thoroughly deserves this. What a shot he hit on 16th, there's nothing you can do but tip your hat to that, just awesome golf."

Overnight leader Johnson was on course to add to his 2016 US Open success until he dropped an untimely shot at the 14th before chipping in at the 16th then making a 3 at the last, but that was too little too late.

Bidding for his first major win, DeChambeau was lurking ominously after covering the first seven holes in four-under before back-to-back dropped shots at the eighth and ninth took the wind out of his sails.

To his credit, the American got himself back into it with birdies at the 14th and 16th, but, by then, Morikawa had moved into an uncatchable position.

Day, the 2015 winner, produced a great run on the back nine as he birdied the 10th, 11th and 14th to match the clubhouse target set by Wolff, another of the game's exciting young stars, as he closed with an eagle and five birdies.

It was a day to forget for Brooks Koepka as his bid to make it three-in-a-row in this event ended in disappointment.

Just two off the pace at the start, the 2013 Scottish Challenge winner was out of sorts from the start and closed with a 74 to finish in a tie for 29th.

Rory McIlroy (68) tied for 33rd on two-under, one ahead of Tiger Woods (67), with young Scot Bob MacIntyre (69) finishing joint-66th on his debut in the event and his second major appearance.

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