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The 149th Open Royal St Georges

The 149th The Open 2021 / Royal St George's

Collin Morikawa made history with a stunning debut victory at Royal St George’s as The 149th Open took place a year later than originally scheduled.

The COVID-19 pandemic had forced the cancellation of the Championship in 2020, but crowds of up to 32,000 per day were able to descend upon Sandwich as Shane Lowry belatedly defended the Claret Jug he had claimed in such memorable fashion at Royal Portrush two years earlier.

Those in attendance were treated to glorious weather for all four days of the Championship and a truly dazzling performance from Morikawa, who became the first man to win on his first appearance at two different majors having previously triumphed at the 2020 PGA Championship.

A nerveless, bogey-free 66 on the final day ensured Morikawa, whose iron play was typically brilliant throughout the week, prevailed with a 15-under aggregate of 265 – a record at Royal St George’s.

Jordan Spieth, the Champion Golfer of 2017, applied the most significant pressure on a gripping final day and finished two strokes behind after matching Morikawa’s closing 66, while Louis Oosthuizen (71) and Jon Rahm (66) shared third on 11 under.

Oosthuizen led after each of the first three rounds and was one clear of Morikawa heading into the last 18, but the South African – second in each of the previous two majors in 2021 - was unable to secure another Claret Jug 11 years on from his runaway triumph at St Andrews.

A combination of calm conditions and a relatively lush, green links ensured there were plenty of birdie opportunities from the outset as Oosthuizen began his week with a six-under 64 in round one to lead Spieth and Brian Harman by a shot.

The Champion of 2010 then doubled his advantage on Friday with a 65 – setting a new record aggregate of 129 for the first 36 holes of an Open – but the star of the second day was Morikawa, whose sublime 64 lifted him into second place, one ahead of Spieth.

Day two also produced the undoubted shot of the Championship as Jonathan ‘Jigger’ Thomson – a survivor of leukaemia and the tallest player in European Tour history – brought the house down at the par-3 16th with a hole-in-one.

Oosthuizen, Morikawa and Spieth were all tied at the top of the leaderboard as round three moved towards a conclusion, but it was the former who once again ended the day in front at 12 under, with Morikawa one back and Spieth three adrift after a costly bogey-bogey finish.

After two more bogeys early in his final round however, Spieth threatened to pull off a sensational comeback as he picked up six shots in eight holes to charge firmly back into contention as Oosthuizen’s challenge faded.

Yet Morikawa, who had three birdies of his own at the seventh, eighth and ninth, remained rock-solid and a crucial gain on the 14th gave the 23-year-old a two-shot cushion that he would not relinquish.

Lowry put up an admirable defence of his crown as he tied for 12th, while the Silver Medal went to Matthias Schmid, who turned professional the next day after finishing four clear of Yuxin Lin, the only other amateur to make the cut.

Name
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Collin MORIKAWA
1
67
64
68
66
265
-15
2
65
67
69
66
267
-13
T3
71
64
68
66
269
-11
T3
64
65
69
71
269
-11
5
66
67
70
68
271
-9
T6
69
66
72
65
272
-8
T6
66
69
68
69
272
-8
T8
68
65
73
67
273
-7
T8
72
69
65
67
273
-7
T8
70
67
68
68
273
-7
T8
67
66
69
71
273
-7
T12
68
71
69
66
274
-6
T12
70
64
72
68
274
-6
T12
71
65
69
69
274
-6
T15
70
66
72
67
275
-5
T15
68
67
70
70
275
-5
T15
67
67
70
71
275
-5
T15
68
68
66
73
275
-5
T19
68
69
73
66
276
-4
T19
68
68
72
68
276
-4
T19
65
71
71
69
276
-4
T19
70
69
68
69
276
-4
T19
66
72
67
71
276
-4
T19
70
69
66
71
276
-4
T19
67
67
70
72
276
-4
T26
69
71
72
65
277
-3
T26
67
70
73
67
277
-3
T26
72
66
71
68
277
-3
T26
71
69
67
70
277
-3
T26
69
66
71
71
277
-3
T26
70
70
66
71
277
-3
T26
67
67
71
72
277
-3
T33
71
70
72
65
278
-2
T33
66
74
71
67
278
-2
T33
67
71
70
70
278
-2
T33
69
72
67
70
278
-2
T33
69
70
68
71
278
-2
T33
67
69
70
72
278
-2
T33
69
67
68
74
278
-2
T40
71
70
72
66
279
-1
T40
72
67
71
69
279
-1
T40
70
69
71
69
279
-1
T40
68
66
74
71
279
-1
T40
70
67
71
71
279
-1
T40
70
68
69
72
279
-1
T46
70
69
74
67
280
-
T46
73
66
73
68
280
-
T46
75
65
72
68
280
-
T46
70
68
72
70
280
-
T46
70
70
69
71
280
-
T46
67
70
70
73
280
-
T46
69
68
69
74
280
-
T53
69
72
75
65
281
1
T53
70
69
74
68
281
1
T53
70
69
73
69
281
1
T53
71
67
73
70
281
1
T53
69
72
70
70
281
1
T53
68
72
70
71
281
1
T59
72
69
72
69
282
2
T59
72
66
74
70
282
2
T59
69
70
73
70
282
2
T59
69
71
71
71
282
2
T59
71
70
70
71
282
2
T59
71
67
72
72
282
2
T59
74
65
71
72
282
2
T59
70
71
67
74
282
2
T67
73
68
74
68
283
3
T67
70
70
73
70
283
3
T67
67
71
72
73
283
3
T67
70
70
69
74
283
3
T67
68
68
71
76
283
3
72
72
68
73
71
284
4
73
70
69
78
68
285
5
T74
72
69
76
69
286
6
T74
69
72
74
71
286
6
T76
73
68
76
71
288
8
T76
71
69
76
72
288
8
70
72
-
-
142
2
68
74
-
-
142
2
75
67
-
-
142
2
73
69
-
-
142
2
71
71
-
-
142
2
70
72
-
-
142
2
72
70
-
-
142
2
71
71
-
-
142
2
71
71
-
-
142
2
70
72
-
-
142
2
72
70
-
-
142
2
70
72
-
-
142
2
72
70
-
-
142
2
68
74
-
-
142
2
69
73
-
-
142
2
72
70
-
-
142
2
70
72
-
-
142
2
69
73
-
-
142
2
74
68
-
-
142
2
70
72
-
-
142
2
73
70
-
-
143
3
74
69
-
-
143
3
72
71
-
-
143
3
70
73
-
-
143
3
72
71
-
-
143
3
71
72
-
-
143
3
72
71
-
-
143
3
72
71
-
-
143
3
72
71
-
-
143
3
72
71
-
-
143
3
74
69
-
-
143
3
74
69
-
-
143
3
73
70
-
-
143
3
70
73
-
-
143
3
72
71
-
-
143
3
66
77
-
-
143
3
69
74
-
-
143
3
75
69
-
-
144
4
75
69
-
-
144
4
73
71
-
-
144
4
68
76
-
-
144
4
75
69
-
-
144
4
72
72
-
-
144
4
75
69
-
-
144
4
75
69
-
-
144
4
71
73
-
-
144
4
72
72
-
-
144
4
75
70
-
-
145
5
71
74
-
-
145
5
75
70
-
-
145
5
74
71
-
-
145
5
75
70
-
-
145
5
74
72
-
-
146
6
72
74
-
-
146
6
71
75
-
-
146
6
73
73
-
-
146
6
75
71
-
-
146
6
74
72
-
-
146
6
72
75
-
-
147
7
68
79
-
-
147
7
76
71
-
-
147
7
74
73
-
-
147
7
75
72
-
-
147
7
71
76
-
-
147
7
72
76
-
-
148
8
75
73
-
-
148
8
73
75
-
-
148
8
72
77
-
-
149
9
74
75
-
-
149
9
77
72
-
-
149
9
73
76
-
-
149
9
73
76
-
-
149
9
73
77
-
-
150
10
77
73
-
-
150
10
80
72
-
-
152
12
76
78
-
-
154
14
75
81
-
-
156
16
80
77
-
-
157
17
69
-
-
-
-
-1