Morikawa plays a steady hand to win Workday Championship

Collin Morikawa of the United States holds the trophy after winning the Workday Championship at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, on Feb. 28, 2021. (Kyodo)
==Kyodo

BRADENTON, Fla. — The plan was for PGA champion Collin Morikawa to wear a red shirt with his black pants Feb. 28 to show support for Tiger Woods as he recovers from career-threatening leg injuries from a car crash.

The clothes shipped to him never arrived, so Morikawa did the next best thing at the Workday Championship.

He played like him.

Staked to a two-shot lead, Morikawa shook off an early mistake, regained control around the turn, delivered two clutch putts and then played a steady hand on a Concession Golf Club course known for calamity.

Just like Woods has done so often, Morikawa forced everyone to catch him. No one did, and his 3-under 69 gave him a three-shot victory for his first World Golf Championship.

“With how good the field was, how good my game felt, to close it out with such a stacked leaderboard coming after me, it really means a lot,” Morikawa said.

He became the 24th player to win a major and a World Golf Championship title, and the 24-year-old Californian joined Woods as the only players to win both before turning 25.

Woods was 23 when he won the first of his 18 World Golf Championships.

Morikawa, who finished at 18-under 270, won for the fourth time in his last 34 starts on the PGA Tour. He finished three ahead of Brooks Koepka (70), Viktor Hovland (67) and Billy Horschel (70), who played with Morikawa in the final group and witnessed the supreme iron play that made him so hard to catch.

As for that red shirt? Morikawa thinks it got stuck in Tennessee because of the weather. He even sent his caddie to the distribution center to see if it arrived.

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