Collin Morikawa’s ridiculous run continues with European Tour double
Collin Morikawa, ahead of this week’s DP World Tour Championship, had heard the various scenarios where he could win the Race to Dubai, the European Tour’s season-long points race. Finish here at the season-ending event, and Billy Horschel would have to finish there. And on and on.
Or, you know, he could just win the thing.
“You can make it what it is. I’m here to win the tournament,” Morikawa said ahead of the event. “I think if I just beat Billy Horschel, that’s not going to guarantee me the Race to Dubai. I’m trying to take care of my business.
“If I win this week, we know what’s going happen. The only time I’ve ever looked at trying to beat an opponent was the Ryder Cup. That’s all that matters — you get a point on the board. When it comes to tournaments like this and you have a chance to win a season-long race like the Race to Dubai, you can’t think about that. You can’t worry about the what-ifs or what points might add up. You just got to go out and play your best. The goal is to win the tournament.”
And win he did. And win he did.
Starting the day three shots behind leader Rory McIlroy, Morikawa blistered the back nine on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates, peeling off five birdies over his final seven holes on his way to a six-under 66, a 17-under total and a three-shot victory. He wins the Race to Dubai, too, becoming the first American to do so.
“It’s so special,” Morikawa said. “You know, I came here last time, first time to Dubai, obviously not having played too many European Tour events, and I told everyone that I wanted to come out here and win. Win the Race to Dubai and win the DP World Tour Championship, and I had it in my control this week. Obviously if I won, I would have sealed the deal, and that’s all I focused on really.
“I couldn’t really get my head too focused on the Race to Dubai. I knew there were many, many scenarios that could have happened. But I wanted to come out here and win. I felt like my game has been in a really good spot over the past kind of the last month and a half since the Ryder Cup, so you know, overall, it’s just an amazing win, really special.”
Morikawa’s birdie binge began on the par-4 12th, where he rolled in a 16-foot putt, and he birdied the par-5 14th after hitting his third shot to 3 feet. Morikawa then pulled even with McIlroy with a birdie on the par-4 15th, and he pulled away with birdies on 17 and 18.
Two groups behind him, McIlroy imploded. On the 15th, he suffered an unfortunate break, when he hit the pin with his wedge approach, his ball kicked backward and into a greenside bunker, and he bogeyed after failing to get up and down. On 16, McIlroy three-putted from 30 feet. Finally on 18, McIlroy sliced his tee shot; needed to hit a provisional, which he hooked into the water; and found the first, only to hit that one, too, into the drink.
He finished with a six for a two-over 74, and he tied for sixth. Afterward, McIlroy completed the meltdown by ripping his shirt.
For Morikawa, the victory caps a stretch where he won the PGA Championship last August, won the WGC-Workday Championship at the Concession in late February, won the Open Championship in late July for his second major victory and played on the winning U.S. Ryder Cup team. All before the age of 25, which he turns in February.
Late Sunday, he was asked what he would do for an encore.
“Win more,” he said.