Morikawa hit the shot of his life, even if no one saw it, and broke what was a seven-way tie to win the 2020 PGA Championship. In doing so, Morikawa became just the sixth golfer in history to win the PGA Championship before turning 24, joining the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
He hit what was the event’s best shot and perhaps the best shot of this year when he took out the driver on the 16th at Harding Park, nailing it to within seven feet of the pin for what would finish as a birdie that separated him from the field. With no fans in attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic, he couldn’t hear the roar of how great his shot was, and couldn’t see it either as a tree interrupted his view.
“I knew I had to hit a good one,” Morikawa said. “This is one time I really wish there were crowds. I was just praying for a straight bounce ... and then after it bounced, it kind of got behind a tree that we couldn’t see around the corner. So once it bounced, I was like, ‘OK, I will take it anywhere.’
“I peeked around right and looked around the tree, and it looked really, really good.”
Morikawa won his first major championship in just his second start in a major and now has three PGA Tour victories in just 28 career starts and is No. 5 in the World Golf Rankings.
He finished 13-under par and played mistake-free golf. Until the end of the tournament, of course. When he went to hoist the Wannamaker Trophy, the lid tumbled down to the ground and the expression on Morikawa’s face was priceless.
Albeit, if that was his only mistake of the day, a day that he was crowned a Major Champion, we’ll take it.