Collin Morikawa is a Grinder!!!
Well, I think golf fans just died and went to heaven because that final round was electric!!! Played with the threat of disruption due to weather, this final round featured young studs in the final group. It was a huge blow that this round was moved up because of the weather, and an even bigger buzzkill that CBS was broadcasting which means no live golf on TV. However, even though I had to stream this final round in terrible quality as I air played it to my TV, it was still freaking awesome. The final group featured old man Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland. Even though CBS deemed this dynamic final grouping inferior to paid programming, it was one of the best tournaments of the year. Even though twitter rightfully destroyed CBS and the PGA Tour on Sunday afternoon, those who broke through the "coverage will resume" screen saw an awesome golf tournament. OK, enough with the CBS bashing, lets talk about the golf.
Collin Morikawa is awesome for the game of golf. This kid out of California Berkeley seems to blend the personalities of Boomers, Millennial's and Zoomers. This creates a perfect golfer to lead the sport into the next generation. What he did today could foreshadow what he does in the future...Grind. After the 15th hole Justin Thomas had a three shot lead sitting at 21 under par and Morikawa was at 18 under par. All of the sudden, it looked like Thomas was taking control of the tournament. Not so fast my friends, the door was opened when Thomas hit it into the back bunker on 16 and failed to get it up and down for par. Morikawa parred the hole to get within two with two to play. On the par four 17th, Morikawa stuck it to eight feet and made birdie while Thomas settled for par. Moving on to the 18th, Thomas hit it into a fairway bunker causing him to leave his approach shot short. On the green Thomas chipped up and had an eleven footer for par and Morikawa had another putt for birdie. They both missed which left them tied at 19 under par. It was time for a playoff that featured two of the game's great stars. The first playoff hole was one to be remembered. Morikawa and Thomas both missed the fairway right with Morikawa winding in the bunker and Thomas up on the hill. Thomas hit his approach shot to about 50 feet, while Morikawa hit his shot to 25 feet. They both drained their putts. Well... back to the 18th tee they went and both players hit the fairway. Thomas hit his approach shot to 9 feet and Morikawa hit his to 20 feet. The putters did not perform the second time around, leaving us with another playoff hole on the 10th. On the 10th tee, Thomas blocked his tee shot right leaving his second shot impeded by a tree which forced him to chip out into the fairway. Morikawa was in prime position in the fairway and hit a perfect approach shot to the green. Thomas could not recover from his tee shot and eventually made a bogey five. Morikawa missed his birdie putt but still made par to win.
What struck me and a lot of people was the final grouping on Sunday. This group was a look at three players who have a lot going for them in the game of golf. With his win today, Collin Morikawa proved that he CAN in fact get the job done even though he did not have his best stuff on the greens during the weekend. Morikawa is only 23 years old, but at this point in his career he is already a fan favorite due to his success on the course and his demeanor off of it. Collin showed that he is, in fact, a grinder on the course who will not stop until the last putt drops. I don't think this is the last time we will see Collin Morikawa in contention in 2020. He is trending upwards heading into some big tournaments like Memorial next week, WGC-Memphis, and the PGA Championship. Look for all three players to bounce back in big ways in the coming weeks. I like Morikawa as a person and a player. He fits the respectful young man mold and golf media loves that type of guy. Hovland seems like the cool dude who is bound to bring a different flair to the game of golf. I was really expecting Thomas to take control of this tournament and establish his status as one of the most dominate closer's on the PGA TOUR. But this just shows how unpredictable golf is when a player like Thomas gives up the lead twice in the final round.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable tournament to watch, if you could figure out how to watch it. Yet again, CBS and the PGA TOUR let down the game of golf by having the final round STREAMED on the CBS sports app. The streaming was not easy to find and resulted in poor video quality for thousands of golf fans across the country. The PGA TOUR clearly needs to get a grip on CBS the way Augusta National does and try to reel in casual fans by showing the actual product, not selling others. Anyway, I am going to try and let the golf do the talking this week because it was fantastic. I hope CBS realizes that their coverage is seriously lacking and reverts to the Sunday coverage at the RBC Heritage as a model for the future. They probably won't.