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Collin Morikawa made history Sunday at The Open Championship. Lots of history.
The 24-year-old Cal product became the first player ever to win in two different major-championship debuts by capturing the claret jug by two shots over Jordan Spieth at Royal St. George’s. He also is the quickest player since WWII to two major titles (eight starts).
The latter achievement is two starts better than Spieth, who won the Masters and U.S. Open in his ninth and 10th major starts, respectively, in 2015. (It took Tiger Woods 18 tries to win two majors.)
“I think when you make history – and I’m 24 years old – it’s hard to grasp, and it’s hard to really take it in,” Morikawa said. “… At 24 years old, it’s so hard to look back at the two short years that I have been a pro and see what I’ve done because I want more. I enjoy these moments and I love it, and I want to teach myself to embrace it a little more, maybe spend a few extra days and sit back and drink out of this [trophy].
“But yeah, I just want more. When you’re in these moments and you truly love what you do, which I love playing golf and competing against these guys, these are the best moments ever because the nerves push you to just be a better person.”
With two majors among five career PGA Tour wins, Morikawa has easily separated himself from his contemporaries, mainly Matthew Wolff, Viktor Hovland, Joaquin Niemann and Scottie Scheffler. But he’s also outpacing what many of today’s stars did before turning 25 years old.
Here’s how he compares to the likes of Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka:
Before turning 25
In terms of victories, there are several players who had more than Morikawa before turning 25. Spieth had the most with 14, including three majors. McIlroy had 11, and Rahm and Justin Thomas each had nine. Even Brooks Koepka had more with six.
However, Rahm and Koepka were the only other players to spend three years in college, and it took Koepka a few years to get out on Tour. McIlroy didn’t go to college while Spieth and Thomas completed a combined seven semesters.
In terms of just Tour wins, Morikawa is behind Spieth (11), Thomas (eight) and McIlroy (six).
But when it comes to majors, Morikawa has reached two nine starts quicker than McIlroy, 10 quicker than Koepka and 37 quicker than Dustin Johnson.
“I just remember everything was easy, everything was fun, things were going your way, everything is very smooth,” Spieth said of his pre-25 run. “I think it’s certainly not going to be the case over the course of a career, but he’s got the potential and the game and the head to be able to manage any kind of bumps in the road.”