Collin Morikawa has outlasted Justin Thomas on the third playoff hole to win the Workday Charity Open and will move into the top 20 of the World Rankings.
It was the American’s second playoff since the PGA Tour’s return to golf from the COVID-19 layoff and his consistency is being rewarded becoming only the second player (Tiger Woods the other) in the last 30 years to claim his second PGA Tour victory before missing his second cut, his first cut was last week.
And he should have had the playoff wrapped up at the first extra hole if it wasn’t for Justin Thomas sinking a 50-foot birdie putt to keep the extra holes coming.
“I’m excited. I’m happy,” Morikawa explained after his victory.
“Those three holes were a grind, obviously Justin making that birdie putt on that first playoff hole, I had to make it, or else we go home again.
“I just got a little more comfortable throughout the playoff, and I think it just took me a little time. Two Playoffs now, and finally got one done.
“But Justin is an awesome player. He was one of the first people that kind of helped me when I turned pro last year in Canada, so I owe a lot to him. I’m super happy I closed it out after those first two days.”
Morikawa finished the four-rounds with a 6-under 66 tied with Thomas on 19-under after Thomas fired a 3-under 69. Back in third place was another young gun Viktor Hovland on 15-under.
Morikawa, 23, becomes the fourth player to win on the PGA Tour under the age of 24 this season, joining Joaquin Niemann (21, A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier), Viktor Hovland (22, Puerto Rico Open) and Sungjae Im (21, The Honda Classic).
“I’m ready to compete with these guys,” said Morikawa.
“I think every single week my game feels like it’s there, and just a lot, a lot of positives, but I’m just really happy right now.”
Thomas was less than happy about his day after having a 3-shot lead with three holes to play.
“I’m pretty pissed off,” Thomas explained to the media.
“That’s about the only way to explain it. I had a three-shot lead with three to go and just completely handed it over.
“Collin played great. He birdied a very tough hole on 17. Both made great birdies on the first playoff hole. But I had two chances, many chances to win this thing, but two chances in regulation and the second playoff hole and didn’t get it done.”
Kiwi Tim Wilkinson tied for 31st place on 6-under while Danny Lee missed the cut.