Morikawa follows in Tiger's footsteps with WGC-Workday Championship title

By Sports Desk February 28, 2021

Collin Morikawa added the WGC-Workday Championship to his growing list of achievements after triumphing by three strokes.

Winner of last year's U.S. PGA Championship, Morikawa used a three-under-par 69 to seal victory at the star-studded World Golf Championships event in Florida ahead of Viktor Hovland, Brooks Koepka and Billy Horschel on Sunday.

Morikawa holed four birdies and just one bogey to finish 18 under for his fourth PGA Tour crown – the most by any player currently aged under 25.

He also joins Tiger Woods as the only player to win a major championship and WGC event before turning 25.

Further to that feat, Morikawa is the seventh player to claim four or more PGA Tour tournaments – including a major – under the age of 25, following in the footsteps of Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jerry Pate.

The overnight leader by two strokes, Morikawa recovered from a slow start after bogeying his second hole of the final round – the 24-year-old American birdieing three of five holes before the turn as he ended the day without dropping another shot.

Norwegian star Hovland mounted a serious title charge following a five-under par 67, but he was unable to stop Morikawa.

Hovland finished tied for second alongside four-time major champion Koepka (70) and Horschel (70) at The Concession Golf Club.

McIlroy's final-round 71 saw the former world number one and four-time major winner slip down into a tie for sixth, six strokes adrift of Morikawa.

Defending champion Patrick Reed (72) ended the co-sanctioned PGA and European Tour tournament a shot further back.

Justin Thomas (71) earned a share of 15th at eight under, a stroke better off than U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau (69).

It was a forgettable finish for world number one Dustin Johnson, who closed proceedings with a six-over-par 78.

The two-time tournament winner plummeted 12 positions to T54 at five over the card.

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    Both Van Dijk and Gomez watched much of last season from the sidelines as the Reds were hit by injury woes in their Premier League title defence.

    Van Dijk had started every league game in the prior two campaigns but sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage in a challenge with Everton's Jordan Pickford in October 2020.

    Gomez started alongside the Netherlands international on 22 occasions in 2019-20, with Liverpool winning 19 of those games and conceding just 17 goals, but he also suffered a knee injury while away with England last November.

    However, from the date of Gomez's injury to the end of the 2020-21 season, only Manchester City (23) conceded fewer league goals than Liverpool (26), who kept 11 clean sheets in this period – behind City (17) and Chelsea (15) – as they qualified for the Champions League.

    Returns for the defensive pair represent a boost all the same, though, and Van Dijk particularly enjoyed stepping back onto the pitch alongside Gomez in a friendly against Hertha Berlin.

    "[It was] special," he told Liverpool's official website. "We said it to each other: we have to soak it all up, we have to take it in, enjoy it, let it make you stronger, let it make you even hungrier to stay fit.

    "To be standing there at that moment, at that time, was special. I will never forget that."

    Van Dijk added: "I think positivity is a very important thing, we have the quality – that is obvious. We were just very, very unlucky with injuries last year, especially in the centre-back position.

    "In the end, Rhys [Williams], Nat [Phillips] and Ozan [Kabak] did a fantastic job to make sure we have at least Champions League and we [came] third.

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    "Like when I was teeing up some balls, I definitely felt a little light-headed, but I kept myself in it."

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