Collin Morikawa Wins 2021 British Open; Ties Tiger Woods with Historic Milestone Win

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJuly 18, 2021

United States' Collin Morikawa celebrates after a birdie putt on the 14th hole during the final round of the British Open Golf Championship at Royal St George's golf course Sandwich, England, Sunday, July 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
AP Photo/Peter Morrison

Collin Morikawa earned his second career major title with a victory at the 2021 British Open.

Louis Oosthuizen had led The Open Championship after each of the first three rounds, but it was Morikawa who stormed ahead with a 66 in his final round Sunday to finish 15 strokes under par for the tournament.

The Open @TheOpen

The winning moment πŸ‘<br><br>Collin Morikawa rounds off a truly magnificent performance at Royal St George's πŸ†<br><br>Follow all the reaction here πŸ‘‰<a href="https://t.co/xYY44zAFs3">https://t.co/xYY44zAFs3</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/NyrwTVPv0U">pic.twitter.com/NyrwTVPv0U</a>

Jordan Spieth finished two strokes back for second place at Royal St. George's, while Oosthuizen ended up in a tie for third.

It continues an incredible 12 months for Morikawa, who won the PGA Championship last August and now has three straight top-10 finishes at majors. He also joins some elite company in a variety of categories:

Justin Ray @JustinRayGolf

Congratulations to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheOpen</a> champion, Collin Morikawa <a href="https://t.co/fYZ8Ihhve6">pic.twitter.com/fYZ8Ihhve6</a>

Tiger Woods is the only other player to win these two majors before the age of 25.

Final Leaderboard

1. Collin Morikawa (-15)

2. Jordan Spieth (-13)

T3. Jon Rahm (-11)

T3. Louis Oosthuizen (-11)

5. Dylan Frittelli (-9)

T6. Brooks Koepka (-8)

T6. Mackenzie Hughes (-8)

T8. Dustin Johnson (-7)

T8. Robert MacIntyre (-7)

T8. Daniel Berger (-7)

T8. Scottie Scheffler (-7)

Full leaderboard and stats available at TheOpen.com.

Oosthuizen was the favorite heading into the final day thanks to his one-stroke lead and consistent play over the first three rounds.

The fourth round wasn't quite as smooth for the South African, however, as he finished the front nine with two bogeys and no birdies. The par-five seventh hole was especially disappointing as Oosthuizen hit it from one bunker to the other before saving bogey.

Jason Sobel @JasonSobelTAN

Louis Oosthuizen currently has the body language of a guy who's eight shots off the cut line on a Friday afternoon.

It opened the door for others to move up the leaderboard, with Morikawa especially taking advantage.

The 24-year-old grabbed the solo lead and built a small cushion thanks to three straight birdies from No. 7 through No. 9, plus a clutch par save on No. 10.

The Open @TheOpen

Three shots clearπŸ‘€<a href="https://twitter.com/collin_morikawa?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@collin_morikawa</a> is on fire at <a href="https://twitter.com/RoyalStGeorges1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RoyalStGeorges1</a> πŸ”₯<br><br>Follow live scoring here πŸ‘‰ <a href="https://t.co/TobaIOmsjf">https://t.co/TobaIOmsjf</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/xlPujslSGb">pic.twitter.com/xlPujslSGb</a>

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

Three consecutive birdies for <a href="https://twitter.com/collin_morikawa?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@collin_morikawa</a>. πŸ‘€<br><br>What a run! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/aSHclx5FRf">pic.twitter.com/aSHclx5FRf</a>

The Open @TheOpen

Clutch.<br><br>Collin Morikawa stays three clear with a sensational up-and-down at the 10thπŸ‘<br><br>Follow the remaining holes here πŸ‘‰ <a href="https://t.co/xYY44zAFs3">https://t.co/xYY44zAFs3</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/ALO1A3HLEk">pic.twitter.com/ALO1A3HLEk</a>

It was still far from a runaway as Spieth also remained in the hunt thanks to impressive putting.

The Open @TheOpen

How big could this be?<a href="https://twitter.com/JordanSpieth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JordanSpieth</a> gets back within two thanks to an eagle at the 7th.<br><br>And Corey Conners also makes a three to reach -9.<br><br>Follow our live blog here πŸ‘‰<a href="https://t.co/xYY44zj43t">https://t.co/xYY44zj43t</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/ctO5OXwugC">pic.twitter.com/ctO5OXwugC</a>


Turns out taking his putter home last night was a wise choice. πŸ•³<a href="https://twitter.com/JordanSpieth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JordanSpieth</a> is two back.<a href="https://t.co/VfzOmemjGN">pic.twitter.com/VfzOmemjGN</a>

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

6-under in his last 8 holes! πŸ”₯<a href="https://twitter.com/JordanSpieth?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JordanSpieth</a> (-13) is now one-back of the lead!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/OtG8dJTJFu">pic.twitter.com/OtG8dJTJFu</a>

It effectively created a two-man race between the Americans over the final few holes, though Morikawa remained just ahead on the leaderboard.

Every time Spieth put the pressure on with a birdie, Morikawa stayed in front with key shots when needed. The clutch putting continually turned headsβ€”not only on birdies but also on pars:

Golf Channel @GolfChannel

CLUTCH BIRDIE! πŸ‘<br><br>Morikawa with a two-stroke lead with two holes to play. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/WYNjXhUSQv">pic.twitter.com/WYNjXhUSQv</a>

Mike Leslie @MikeLeslieWFAA

These par saves from Morikawa have been outstanding.

Ed Werder @WerderEdESPN

Hugely impressive par save by Morikawa. Interesting graphic that he ranks 124th in putting this season but first this week.

Morikawa only had one birdie on the back nine, but finishing bogey-free in the final round helped him seal the impressive victory.

No Laying Up @NoLayingUp

There's something special about majors where one guy not only wins, but was clearly the best player of the tournament. Not really many "what ifs" here. Morikawa was just simply the best. <br><br>Champion Golfer of the Year. A title well deserved.

Oosthuizen dropped to a tie for third, although he still turned heads with a near ace on No. 11:

The Open @TheOpen

Oh my goodness😲<a href="https://twitter.com/Louis57TM?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Louis57TM</a> almost aces the 11th🎯<br><br>He's certainly not done yet!<br><br>Follow live scoring here πŸ‘‰ <a href="https://t.co/TobaIOmsjf">https://t.co/TobaIOmsjf</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/UI8vjPf36a">pic.twitter.com/UI8vjPf36a</a>

Jon Rahm also had an incredible round to shoot 66, including an eagle on No. 7 and a late run of birdies to stay in the hunt:

The Open @TheOpen

What. A. Shot.<a href="https://twitter.com/JonRahmpga?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JonRahmpga</a> comes close to an albatross at the 7th.<br><br>Follow his round live here πŸ‘‰<a href="https://t.co/nF1CsC3YNF">https://t.co/nF1CsC3YNF</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/n72bo7I61J">pic.twitter.com/n72bo7I61J</a>

The Open @TheOpen

After three birdies in a row, here's <a href="https://twitter.com/JonRahmpga?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JonRahmpga</a>'s tee shot at 16🎯<br><br>He's finishing fastπŸ‘€<br><br>Follow our live blog here πŸ‘‰ <a href="https://t.co/xYY44zAFs3">https://t.co/xYY44zAFs3</a><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheOpen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheOpen</a> <a href="https://t.co/UFNiQfuJ5N">pic.twitter.com/UFNiQfuJ5N</a>

Rahm finished in a tie for third place despite an opening round of 71.

Other notable players like Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson had a strong final round to end up in the top 10.

Though this was the final major of the year, these quality performances could help build momentum going forward with the FedEx Cup playoffs on the horizon.