Paul Casey said he was delighted to have his “mojo back” despite missing out to the inspired American Collin Morikawa to fall two shots short of securing his maiden major title on a thrilling final day at the US PGA Championship.
Casey carded a final-round 66, including just one bogey, to finish tied second with Dustin Johnson on 11 under par, but 23-year-old Morikawa came through a crowded field – at one stage on the back nine there were seven players tied for the lead – to win at Harding Park , which is just 20 miles from where he went to college in Berkeley. Morikawa carded 64, tying the lowest ever final round by a PGA winner.
England’s wait for a PGA Champion now stretches 101 years, but Casey, who at 43 is 20 years older than rising star Morikawa, was delighted with his best-ever major finish. He finished third at the Open Championship a decade ago.
“I played wonderful golf, simple as that,” said Casey. “I have nothing to say other than I played great golf this week.
“It’s been a great week. It’s been a strange week obviously, missing the fans.
“I’m very, very happy with how I played, I had a great attitude and stayed very calm and stayed in the present. But it wasn’t enough.
“But I’m very, very happy with everything. I’ve kind of got my mojo back now!”
Morikawa has more tour titles than missed cuts since emerging last year, and came into the tournament in rare form, finishing second at the Charles Schwab Challenge in June and winning the Workday Charity Open last month. This was just his second major, and his rise into the top five of the world rankings was set to be confirmed today.
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<p>"It's amazing," said Morikawa. "As a little kid, watching all these professionals, this is always what I've wanted to do.
“I felt very comfortable from the start, as an amateur, junior golfer, turning professional last year. But to finally close it off and come out here in San Francisco, pretty much my second home where I spent the past four years, it’s pretty special.”
Casey was full of praise for the champion, whose only misstep was to lift the Wanamaker Trophy with such vigour that the lid came off.
“When he popped up on Tour not that long ago, those guys who were paying attention like myself knew that this was something special, and he’s proved it today,” said Casey. “He’s already sort of proved it, but he’s really stamped his authority of how good he is today.”
Morikawa chipped in for birdie on the 14th, then took a decisive step towards the title with a brilliant tee shot to within seven feet on the par four 16th, which he duly converted for an eagle.
“Watching Collin come down on the 18th and hit a glorious shot in there, he thoroughly deserves it,” said Casey. “What a shot he hit on 16. Just awesome golf. There’s nothing you can do except tip your cap to that.”
Casey was the leading Briton, with Justin Rose tying for ninth four shots off the lead, Ian Poulter tied 22nd and Tommy Fleetwood carding a fourth-round 73 to tie for 29th. Rory McIlroy’s final round 68 meant he finished 33rd.