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Collin Morikawa captures WGC for fourth career title

COLLIN Morikawa continued to solidify his place among the next generation of golf, winning for the third time in eight months with a victory Sunday at the World Golf Championships (WGC) — Workday Championship at The Concession in Bradenton, Florida.

The 24-year-old Morikawa shot a 3-under 69 to finish at 18-under 270 and win by three strokes over Billy Horschel (70), Brooks Koepka (70), and Norway’s Viktor Hovland (67). The Cal product won for the fourth time since turning pro in 2019, taking the lead into the final round for the first time in his career.

“It shows that I can come out here and compete, but what a week,” Morikawa said on the NBC broadcast. “I was working on so much over the past couple of weeks. I got tips from Mark O’Meara and Paul Azinger and it got me through this week. My game felt so good and I’m just so excited right now.”

Scottie Scheffler (68) finished alone in fifth place at 14-under, while South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen (69), Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (71) and Webb Simpson (72) finished tied for sixth place at 12-under.

After a bogey at the second hole Sunday, Morikawa got his final round on track, going 4-under over a stretch of eight holes from Nos. 5-12.

The 2020 PGA Championship winner, who also won an added event at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, last year, never relinquished the lead after moving into the top spot Saturday with a run of six birdies over nine holes.

On a day when some players in the field were wearing red shirts and black pants in honor of Tiger Woods, Morikawa became the only player other than Woods to win a major title and a WGC event before the age of 25.

Woods was seriously injured in a single-car crash on Tuesday.

“Tiger means everything to me, and yes he had the crash, and thankfully he’s all right and hopefully he has a quick and great recovery,” Morikawa said. “But I don’t think we say ‘thank you’ enough. So, I’m going to say thank you to Tiger. Sometimes, you lose people too early. Kobe (Bryant). I lost my grandpa about a month ago… So, thank you guys.”

After Horschel briefly tied for the lead early in the final round, Morikawa channeled Woods’ final-round focus with birdies at the fifth, seventh and ninth holes to make the turn with a 2-under 34. — Reuters

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