The Latest: Morikawa is the champion golfer of the year

Jul 17, 2021, 2:57 PM | Updated: Jul 18, 2021, 10:47 am

SANDWICH, England (AP) — The Latest on the British Open (all times local):

6:35 p.m.

Collin Morikawa is the champion golfer of the year.

Morikawa captured the British Open on Sunday for his second major championship in two years. It was his first time playing the British Open, just like it was his first time playing the PGA Championship when he won at Harding Park last year.

The 24-year-old American remarkably played the final 31 holes at Royal St. George’s without a bogey. Starting the final round one shot behind, he closed with a 66 for a two-shot victory over Jordan Spieth.

For Louis Oosthuizen, it was more heartbreak. The South African fell out of the lead with a bunker-to-bunker bogey on the par-5 seventh hole. He was four behind Morikawa at the turn and never could catch up.

Oosthuizen was runner-up in the last two majors. He tied for third with U.S. Open champion Jon Rahm.

Spieth was left to rue his bogey-bogey finish on Saturday, including a 2-foot par putt he missed on the 18th. Spieth shot a 66.

Morikawa finished at 15-under 265. That’s the lowest score in the 15 times the British Open has been played at Royal St. George’s.

Morikawa now has five victories in his two years since turning pro. That includes two majors and a World Golf Championship. He moves to No. 3 in the world.


5:55 p.m.

Collin Morikawa is closing in on the claret jug.

Morikawa was leading by one shot when his wedge to the par-5 14h failed to stay on the top ledge. No problem. The 24-year-old American rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt to extend his lead to two shots over Jordan Spieth.

Still to come are the final four holes for Morikawa. Spieth narrowly missed long birdie chances on the 15th and 16th holes and was running out of holes.

Morikawa has gone 27 consecutive holes without making a bogey dating to the fifth hole of the third round at Royal St. George’s.


5:30 p.m.

Jordan Spieth has reduced Collin Morikawa’s lead to one shot at the British Open.

Spieth followed up a 12-foot birdie putt at the 13th hole by hitting a wedge to 6 feet at the par-15 No. 14 and making another putt for birdie.

He has four birdies in six holes and moved to 13 under.

Morikawa has four straight pars on the back nine being played in glorious late-afternoon conditions at the links off Sandwich Bay.

4:45 p.m.

Collin Morikawa has made it to the turn with a three-shot lead at Royal St. George’s.

He made putts from 6 feet at No. 8 and around 15 feet at No. 9 to make it three straight birdies. He is at 14 under.

Louis Oosthuizen has yet to make a birdie in his final round and is 2 over for the day, four strokes behind Morikawa. He started with a two-stroke lead.

Oosthuizen has been overtaken by Jordan Spieth, who has rolled in back-to-back birdies around the turn and is in second place.

Dustin Johnson birdied the last hole for a 67 and was 7 under for the tournament.

4:15 p.m.

Louis Oosthuizen is out of the lead at the British Open for the first time since the 12th hole of the second round.

He bogeyed the par-5 seventh hole after going from one greenside bunker to another and leaving himself an awkward position to get near the pin. He two-putted from distance and fell two shots behind Collin Morikawa.

Morikawa had a tap-in birdie at a hole where Jordan Spieth and Corey Conners had just made eagle, and was 12 under for the tournament.

Spieth is three shots behind Morikawa.

Brooks Koepka shot 65 and has the clubhouse lead at 8 under.

3:30 p.m.

Louis Oosthuizen has made his first bogey on the front nine all week at the British Open.

He missed the green short and right of the fourth hole and took the safe route by playing well beyond the flag to use the slope. He still had 25 feet for par and missed.

Collin Morikawa also missed the green but saved his par with a 10-foot putt. That left them tied at 11-under par.

Jordan Spieth spent his first hour making tough par putts. He finally missed on the fourth hole and remains three shots behind.

The idea for Sunday at Royal St. George’s is to get through the opening five holes without too much damage. Most of the scoring in the final round has started on the sixth.


2:45 p.m.

Louis Oosthuizen has started his final round of the British Open, his latest bid to finally get another major.

No one has played them better this year without winning.

Oosthuizen has been atop the leaderboard in six of his last 10 rounds in the majors — just never after the final round. The 38-year-old South African has been runner-up in the last two majors. His mentor, Ernie Els, is the only player in history to be runner-up in three straight majors.

Oosthuizen had a one-shot lead over Collin Morikawa, who is going after his second major at age 24. Both had 15-foot birdie chances on the opening hole and settled for pars.


2:15 p.m.

Jon Rahm sets out to try to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2000 to win the U.S. Open and British Open in the same year.

Recent history is not on his side.

Phil Mickelson in the 2013 British Open at Muirfield is the last player to win a major when starting the final round more than four shots out of the lead. Rahm shot a 65 on Saturday to get within five shots of the lead.

Mickelson had eight players ahead of him when he rallied from five shots behind at Muirfield. Rahm only had five players in front of him. Mickelson closed a 66, one of the great rounds in British Open history. Rahm might need something similar.

On another perfect day, there already have been been three rounds of 65 and two rounds of 66. Brooks Koepka is 5 under for his round through 12 holes.


1:45 p.m.

Bryson DeChambeau finished a challenging week at the British Open with a 5-under 65 and a belief he can challenge for the claret jug at St. Andrews next year.

DeChambeau was bogey-free around Royal St. George’s in his final round and shot in the 60s for the first time in a week in which he got embroiled in a row with his club manufacturer and saw his beef with Brooks Koepka continue.

DeChambeau says he “understood a little bit more how to play Open Championship-style golf” and could have shot 9 under if he’d been better on the greens.

He expects to play the Scottish Open next year, a week before the British Open at the home of golf. He has never played the Old Course.

DeChambeau says “if I can drive it really well, I think there’ll be a lot of opportunities. I’ve heard that. Hey, maybe next year is the golden ticket for me.”


12:10 p.m.

Lee Westwood soon will be setting the record for playing in the most majors without winning one.

That’s not stopping the 48-year-old Englishman enjoying himself in the final round at the British Open.

Westwood rolled in a long putt from the back of the green at the par-3 seventh hole for eagle and that brought him back into the red numbers at Royal St. George’s.

Still, at 1 under, he is 11 shots off the lead in his 88th major appearance.

Jay Haas previously held the men’s record for most majors without a win, at 87.

Rickie Fowler shot 5-under 65 for the lowest round so far.


10:45 a.m.

The sun is shining, the sky is blue and cloudless, and the flags are barely fluttering atop the grandstand at No. 18 that will be welcoming a British Open champion in about eight hours.

The final round is well underway at Royal St. George’s and the conditions couldn’t be more pleasant for the world’s best golfers.

Louis Oosthuizen leads on 12-under 198 and is looking to end a run of near misses at the majors to win his second claret jug after 2010.

The South African is a shot clear of former PGA champion Collin Morikawa and they go out at 2.35 p.m. local time. Three-time major champion Jordan Spieth is a further two strokes back.

There has been some decent scoring already. Kevin Kisner went out on his own at 8 a.m. and shot 68. Brendan Steele was 4 under and bogey-free at the turn.


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The Latest: Morikawa is the champion golfer of the year