Morikawa ends 27-month wait for title as he wins Zozo Championships

Collin Morikawa of the United States poses with the trophy after winning the tournament folloiwng the final round of ZOZO Championship at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club on October 22, 2023 in Inzai, Chiba, Japan. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Tokyo, Oct 22: Collin Morikawa grabbed his sixth PGA TOUR title at the Zozo Championship but it was his first since the 2021 Open Championship and first worldwide victory since the 2021 DP World Tour Championship. The win came in his 99th start at the age of 26 years, 8 months, 16 days.

The bogey-free 63 was also lowest final-round score by a winner in tournament history beating the previous best of 65 by Hideki Matsuyama in 2021 and by Patrick Cantlay in 2020. It was also Morikawa’s lowest final-round score of the season.

Morikawa’s six-shot win marks the largest margin of victory in tournament history  beating the previous highest margin of 5 strokes by Hideki Matsuyama in 2021. He played his final 24 holes at Accordia Golf in Narashino CC in 12-under and had the most birdies 24 in the week.

Morikawa totalled 14-under 266, while Eric Cole (70) and Beau Hossler (70) finished in a tie for second at 8-under.

Ryo Ishikawa spearheaded a historic moment at the Zozo Championship with three Japanese players making the top-10 for the first time, as American Morikawa sealed a six-shot victory with a commanding final round seven-under-par 63.

Ishikawa, a two-time PGA Tour runner-up, delivered a superb 67 in Chiba finishing tied for fourth with a four-day total of seven-under 273, seven strokes behind Morikawa.

Indian-American Sahith Theegala (70) finished T-19, while Aaron Rai (67) and Akshay Bhatia (70) were T-21. Sungjae Im (68) was T-12.

This stands as the 32-year-old Ishikawa’s finest performance on the PGA Tour since his joint runner-up spot at the 2013 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Compatriots Kensei Hirata and Ryo Hisatsune heightened the day’s excitement for local fans, both carding matching 66s to end in a four-way tie for sixth, totalling 274.

In addition to securing sizable prize money from the US$8.5 million event, Ishikawa, Hirata, and Hisatsune were handsomely rewarded for their performances, earning themselves spots in the World Wide Technology Championship in Mexico from November 2-5

“I’m pleased to finish in the top-10. It’s been great to play in a PGA event here in Japan. The atmosphere was amazing,” said Ishikawa, whose other PGA Tour runner-up finish came at the 2012 Puerto Rico Open.

Ishikawa expressed immense pride in being accompanied by Hirata and Hisatsune, aged 22 and 21 respectively, in the top 10.

He added that their achievement serves as a testament to the strength and quality of the JGTO, which has been producing young world-class talents in recent years.

For Hisatsune, things have been on the upswing since securing his maiden DP World Tour victory at the French Open last month.

Hirata expressed that he could not have hoped for a better debut, and it has fuelled his aspiration to play on the PGA Tour in the future.

The top 125 in the FedExCup Fall standings through The RSM Classic will be exempt into Full-Field events and THE PLAYERS Championship next season. The

Nos. 51-60 in the standings at the conclusion of The RSM Classic will qualify for two Signature Events in 2024 via The Next 10 (AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, The Genesis Invitational).


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