With a win Sunday in the 149th Open Championship, his second major title in 11 months, 24-year-old American Collin Morikawa established himself as the next “Big Thing” in professional golf. With workmanlike precision, he navigated his way around Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Sandwich, England, to defeat Jordan Spieth by two shots and Jon Rahm and Louis Oosthuizen by four strokes in the 149th edition of the oldest golf tournament in the world.
Morikawa, Spieth, and Rahm all fashioned four under par rounds of 66 on a course that was rendered defenseless due to a lack of wind and other inclement weather that the links courses rely on to keep the game’s best players from posting low scores. They were all chasing Oosthuizen entering the final round, but the South African could manage no better than a one-over-par 71.
Collin Morikawa entered the week at +2700 odds to win The Open Championship.
It was Morikawa’s Open Championship debut, making him the only player in history to win two majors in his first time playing the events, following his victory in the 2020 PGA Championship in his first attempt. The former University of California player was awarded $2,070,000 from the $11.5 million purse for finishing atop the 156 player field as well as 600 FedEx points, a five-year PGA Tour exemption, entry into the next ten Open Championships, and five-year exemptions into the other three major championships.
Morikawa will also have his name engraved on the famed Claret Jug, the trophy for winning the Open Championship that will be in his possession for the next year. The fourth-ranked player in the world is the eighth player to win a pair of major championships prior to his 25th birthday.
Royal St. George’s was hosting its 15th Open Championship and its first since Darren Clarke defeated Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson by three shots in 2011. The links course located in the far southeast corner of England was the first in the country to host the Open Championship in 1894, with all of the previous tournaments taking place in Scotland.
Oosthuizen, who had finished as the runner-up in the previous two major championships, held the lead after each of the first three rounds and looked poised to break an 11-year major drought, dating back to his first and only major title in the 2010 Open Championship. Unfortunately, inconsistent iron play plagued him throughout his final round, allowing Morikawa and Spieth to overtake him with more aggressive play.
Betting Odds Finishes
Morikawa was in the top ten on the futures list, with odds of +2700, but Rahm was the clear top betting choice at +650. Spieth was at +1600, and Oosthuizen went off at +2200, while sixth-place Brooks Koepka and eighth-place finisher Dustin Johnson had odds of +1400.
PGA champion Phil Mickelson shot an opening-round 80 and failed to qualify for the weekend, while fan-favorite Rickie Fowler and struggling Bryson DeChambeau fired final round scores of 65 to finish in ties for 53rd and 3rd, respectively. Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy managed just one round under par and finished in a tie for 46th at even par 280 after starting the tournament just behind Rahm in the betting odds at +1200.