Hideki Matsuyama and Xander Schauffele battled it out for Masters glory and now they will go head to head in a scramble for Olympic gold on Sunday.

Japanese superstar Matsuyama trails American Schauffele by one shot going into the final round at Kasumigaseki Country Club, and they will join Paul Casey in the final group out.

A home triumph for Matsuyama at the Tokyo Games would be an extremely popular result in Japan, but the top 10 are separated by only four strokes, so medals remain firmly in the sights of a host of players.


AS AUGUST ARRIVES, AN AUGUSTA REPEAT

Almost four months have gone by since Matsuyama became the first Japanese man to win a major, when he edged home at Augusta National on a tense final day.

He partnered Schauffele for the final two rounds at the Georgia course, and the same thing has played out this week, with the August 1 finale to the golf event sure to make for absorbing sporting theatre.

The big-name front-runners also had Mexican Carlos Ortiz for company on Saturday, but it was Schauffele who stayed at the head of the pack after following Friday's 63 with a hard-fought 68 to reach 14 under, with Matsuyama on 13 under after a 67, having completed a second-round of 64 earlier in the day.

Schauffele "hung tough", the American said, relying on solid putting to dig him out of trouble as he struggled with his long game.

It was Matsuyama who led going into the final round at The Masters in April, when he held a four-shot cushion but ended up winning by only one after a 73. Schauffele's hopes disappeared when he found water and made six at the par-three 16th that day.

Despite the gold medal being a tantalising target, Schauffele said Saturday had been a routine day on the course.

"Tomorrow may feel a little different," he said. "There's a little bit more on the line than what we normally play for and you're trying to represent your country to the best of your ability."

He was impressed by Matsuyama, who is playing his first event since testing positive for COVID-19, which forced him to miss the Open Championship.

"He seems to be fine," Schauffele said. "Teeing up, he seems strong, he seems normal and he seems himself. Luckily he wasn't hit too hard by it.

"He was firing on a lot of cylinders when he won the Masters. He's maybe not in his realm of perfection, hitting it as well as he'd want to, but he's one back.

"Hideki's a great player, our current Masters champion. I plan on wearing that [green] jacket some day as well. I assume we'll be playing in more final groups for years to come."


JAPAN EXPECTS, CAN HIDEKI DELIVER?

After the blow of Naomi Osaka losing early in the women's tennis, her fellow global superstar is coming good on the golf course.

Matsuyama has been surprised by his recovery from COVID and would love a medal from Tokyo's Games, expressing obvious pleasure at being in the mix so soon after being ill.

"I definitely could not have believed that," he said. "The endurance part of my game has been struggling a little bit, but thankfully it's held up in the last few days. Hopefully it will hold up tomorrow as well."

The host nation awaits a home golfing champion, and Matsuyama is up for the challenge of taking on Schauffele and the chasing pack.

He was asked how the Olympic experience compares to the pursuit of a major.

"There's not much difference to it, but in the Olympics the fact is that third place is still celebrated, as well as second, so there's a nice thing waiting for you even if you get third place," Matsuyama said.

"At a major championship, only the winner will be celebrated. I'm not sure tomorrow what my motivation will be, but I'm going to focus on playing good golf.

"I played with Xander in the third and fourth day together at The Masters. I'm sure Xander will come out determined to win the gold medal, so hopefully on my end too I'm going to come out strong on the mental side."


HOW LOW CAN THEY GO?

If Schauffele and Matsuyama are both to be overtaken on Sunday, it may take a score in the low 60s to snatch away gold.

Tommy Fleetwood showed that is possible with a 64 in the third round, as the Great Britain player climbed to a share of ninth on 10 under, alongside Ireland's Shane Lowry.

His team-mate Casey sits alongside Ortiz on 12 under, tied for third, with four players sharing fifth spot: Ireland's Rory McIlroy, Colombian Sebastian Munoz, Mito Pereira of Chile and Austrian Sepp Straka.

McIlroy said:"I've got a great chance going into tomorrow. It's a bit of a packed leaderboard so all to play for.

"It's going to be brilliant. A lot of us are trying to do something that none of us have ever done before.

"There's a lot of us that are going to be going through experiences that we've not experienced."

Xander Schauffele fired a 63 to move top of the leaderboard at Tokyo 2020, while home favourite Hideki Matsuyama and Rory McIlroy made big moves on Friday.

The threat of serious weather caused another delay on day two, and eventually brought an early end to play with Matsuyama among those not to finish his round.

But Schauffele, who has a big support in Japan as his mother was brought up in the country, sat pretty at 11 under as the stellar names bared their teeth at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

SCHAUFFELE SHUFFLES UP TO TOP SPOT

Sepp Straka was the overnight leader of a very unusual looking leaderboard after the first 18 holes but a level-par 71 means he is now three shots back.

Instead it is Schauffele, a perennial nearly man in the majors, who leads the charge for gold at the halfway stage.

The world number five had two bogeys on his card but also had a pair of eagles to go with six birdies in a sublime round.

Mexico's Carlos Ortiz is only a shot further back after a four-under 67.

HOME HOPE HIDEKI ON THE MOVE, MCILROY IN CONTENTION

Matsuyama was among the pre-tournament favourites in Tokyo, a status enhanced after making a major breakthrough at the Masters in April.

After starting with an opening 69, Matsuyama was six under through 16 holes of his second round and eight under overall for the tournament.

McIlroy matched Matsuyama's round-one score but shot five under in round two and is well in the mix four shots back.

Shane Lowry, the 2019 Open champion, and Paul Casey are also at seven under with McIlroy.

Champion Golfer of the Year Collin Morikawa and Patrick Reed have work to do at three under, while Justin Thomas is one under for the tournament with a hole to play in his second round.

Sepp Straka was the surprise leader of the golf competition after round one at Tokyo 2020 thanks to a dazzling and record-equalling eight-under 63 at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

The 161st-ranked Austrian sat one stroke clear of Jazz Janewattananond, with Thomas Pieters and Carlos Ortiz only two strokes back.

Play was delayed for around two hours on Thursday due to dangerous weather conditions and a host of star names were off the pace after the first 18 holes.

STRAKA SURPRISES TO EARN SHARE OF HISTORY

The unheralded Straka, whose twin brother is on his bag this weekend, tied the record for the lowest single-round score at an Olympics with his 63.

"It was just a steady round. I really hit the ball well and I didn't put myself into trouble. I took advantage with the putter," Straka said.

"I got hot with my irons, especially my short irons, my wedges. I was really knocking down the flagstick and really tried to stay aggressive."

He made four gains on the way out and as many on the way home in a fine bogey-free round, and this round came despite him missing six of his past seven cuts.

HIDEKI, MCILROY AND CO HAVE WORK TO DO

Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama is carrying the home hopes in Tokyo this week and was six shots back.

He was four under through eight but gave one back before the turn and dropped another shot at 11.

Rory McIlroy and Open victor Collin Morikawa are also at two under, with Patrick Reed five back and Justin Thomas at evens after making 18 pars.

Japan's great golf hope Hideki Matsuyama has revealed he feared he would miss the Tokyo Olympics when he tested positive for COVID-19.

The Masters champion pulled out before the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit on July 2, and the 29-year-old has not played competitive golf since, missing out on the Open Championship.

He has also not had a top-20 finish since landing green jacket glory at Augusta National in April, slightly dampening hopes of a home gold medallist at the Kasumigaseki Country Club, where the men's tournament begins on Thursday.

Matsuyama hopes a strong mental approach can stand him in good stead as he returns to a course that holds fond memories for the 29-year-old.

It is where he won the 2010 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, securing him a first ticket to The Masters and serving as a springboard for his professional career.

"To be able to represent Japan and play in my home country and a home Olympics, this is probably the first and last time I'll be able to do that," Matsuyama said in a news conference on Tuesday.

"Three weeks ago I got tested positive for COVID-19 and wasn't really sure I'd be able to make it to this stage here. Now I'm here and I'm very happy to be able to be here.

"I tested positive for COVID for about 10 days in duration. During that time I was unable to practise, but once I got back to Japan I started practising.

"Hopefully I'll be able to be in the best form possible for the event this week."

Matsuyama said he was "very happy" to test negative ahead of the Olympics, and the significance of the venue is not lost on him.

"In a way, Kasumigaseki has been the place and catalyst for me to progress and grow," he said. "Hopefully I can do the same this week and move on to another level. 

"Since my Masters win, I haven't had the best results so far this summer, so I'm a little bit nervous, but I'm really looking forward to it. I think it's going to be fun and I'm going to try my best to do well.

"I'm going to try to overcome any physical deficit with the mental side."

With his golf commitments, Matsuyama said he had found little time to watch fellow Japanese competitors from other sports in the Games, although he has been keeping tabs on their success in the medals table, with the hosts challenging near the top.

"Hopefully I can follow their footsteps and be in a position to win a medal as well," he said.

Cameron Champ's three-day charge up the 3M Open leaderboard ended at the top on Sunday as the American took his third PGA Tour title.

Champ spread five birdies throughout a bogey-free final round at TPC Twin Cities, shooting 66 to finish the tournament at 15 under par.

That was two strokes better overall than the trio of Louis Oosthuizen (66), Charl Schwartzel (68) and Jhonattan Vegas (68), who tied for second at 13 under.

The 26-year-old Californian winner looked like he would need that cushion on the final hole as he yanked his tee shot well off the fairway, but a perfect approach shot gave him a two-foot putt for par and the title.

Champ battled his own body at times in the Minnesota heat, moving slowly late in his round and occasionally bending over while waiting to hit his shots.

He hung on at the end, though, adding a third title to his previous two PGA Tour wins at the 2019 Safeway Open and the 2018 Sanderson Farms Championship.

"I was definitely dehydrated, but obviously I feel a lot better now," Champ told reporters, adding that he began to feel light-headed when he bent down to place or pick up his ball marker.

"Not sure why I was, because I drank a lot of water. You have so much adrenaline going and I was just trying to control that."

Sunday's near-miss was a familiar feeling for all three of the men who shared second place.

Oosthuizen has been runner-up in four of his last seven starts, while Vegas finished second for the third time this season and Schwartzel for the second time.

Keith Mitchell (67) finished a shot behind that trio to take fifth place, a day after recording seven consecutive birdies on the back nine.

Third-round leader Cam Tringale had a desperate day, shooting 74 to finish six strokes back of Champ at nine under.

Among other notables, Sergio Garcia (67) finished at eight under after his best round of the week, while Rickie Fowler and Patrick Reed were at six under after closing with 71s.

Jon Rahm has been ruled out of competing at the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for COVID-19.

The Spanish Olympic Committee announced the world number one had returned a positive result on his third PCR test after competing at The Open at Royal St George's, having previously recorded two negative outcomes ahead of his appearance at the Games.

American Bryson DeChambeau was also ruled out of competing for the same reason on Sunday, having not yet travelled to play in Japan.

For Rahm, it is the second time he has tested positive in as many months. He had to withdraw from the Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour when leading by six shots after 54 holes.

The 26-year-old won the U.S. Open upon his return to action, securing the first major of his career by one shot thanks to a birdie-birdie finish on a dramatic Sunday at Torrey Pines.

With a shortage of time and considering the health protocols in place for the Olympics, a replacement will not be selected. Spain still has one competitor left in the field in Adri Arnaus, the world number 166.

As for DeChambeau, he admitted to being "deeply disappointed" at missing out on Tokyo.

"Representing my country means the world to me and it is was a tremendous honour to make this team," he said in a statement released by the PGA Tour.

"I wish Team USA the best of luck next week in Tokyo. I will now focus on getting healthy, and I look forward to returning to competition once I am cleared to do so."

Patrick Reed will replace him, provided he clears coronavirus tests scheduled on Sunday and Monday before departing for Japan.

 

Cam Tringale moved into the lead ahead of the final day at the 3M Open in Minnesota after carding a five-under round including an eagle on Saturday.

The American raced up the leaderboard as overnight joint leaders Ryan Armour and Adam Hadwin and slid, with an even round and two-over respectively at TPC Twin Cities.

Tringale's surge was set up after becoming only the third player to reach the par-five 12th in two, sitting at 12 under after 54 holes.

He enjoyed a bogey-free third round, birdieing his first two holes, with only Beau Hossler, who is joint for 12th, bettering his round on Saturday with a six-under-65.

Gary Woodland and Maverick McNealy are joint in second on 11 under after strong third day rounds.

Pat Perez, Cameron Champ, Jimmy Walker and Charl Schwartzel are all 10 under. Champ looms large having carded 10 under from his past 27 holes.

Rickie Fowler appeared set to contend again but carded an eight on the 18th hole to finish six off the lead having found the water.

He was not alone in struggling on the 18th which saw five bogeys, three double bogeys and seven triple bogeys or worse.

Adam Hadwin and Ryan Armour have waited a long time for their second PGA Tour wins, and they will enter the weekend with a chance as they sit atop the leaderboard at the 3M Open. 

The Canadian Hadwin and the American Armour each followed opening-round 67s at TPC Twin Cities with six-under-par 65s Friday to sit at 10-under for the tournament as first-round co-leader Rickie Fowler crashed out of the top spot after shooting 73.  

The 45-year-old Armour birdied four of the last eight holes with a bogey mixed in at 13 to claim a share of the lead.

Hadwin, 33, started on the back nine and had a roller-coaster ride through the same stretch of course, taking a bogey at 13 and double bogey at 15 with birdies on 14 and 16 before settling in for a more consistent final nine holes. 

Armour's lone Tour win came at the Sanderson Farms Championship in October 2017, while Hadwin secured his only title to date seven months earlier at the Valspar Championship. 

Fowler entered the day tied with Troy Merritt and Jhonattan Vegas after carding a bogey-free 64 Thursday for his best score of the year, but he managed only one birdie Friday and finished his round tied for 26th at five under overall. 

Merritt also dropped off the pace with a 71, leaving him three back of the leaders, while the Venezuelan Vegas (69) is one stroke back along with Bo Hoag, Chez Reavie and Roger Sloan. 

Louis Oosthuizen is four back of the lead after a second consecutive 68, while former world number one Luke Donald (68) is five back at five under. 

Former Masters champions Sergio Garcia (70), Patrick Reed (70) and Bubba Watson (68) just made the two-under cut.

Among the high-profile players missing the cut were Dustin Johnson (72) and Stewart Cink (73), who were both at even par for the tournament. 

Dylan Frittelli (76) also did not make it to the weekend on the heels of his fifth-place finish at The Open. 

Former Masters runner-up Rickie Fowler is a joint leader alongside Troy Merritt and Jhonattan Vegas after the opening day at the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Minnesota on Thursday.

Fowler had a bogey-free round to card a seven-under 64, which included holing a 29-foot putt for birdie on the first hole.

Merritt stormed home with six birdies for 30 on his back nine after bogeying the ninth hole to share the lead, along with Venezuelan Vegas who shot seven birdies in his round.

"I'm happy about it," Fowler said about his round of 64, which was his best score of the year. "Coming off Sunday at The Open [where he shot 65], a lot of good stuff there, but I drove it a lot better."

Scott Stallings, Adam Schenk and Roger Sloan – who got through 16 before play was suspended due to darkness – are all tied one stroke back after rounds of six under.

Stallings may have held the outright lead but double bogeyed the 18th hole to cap an up-and-down round for the American which included nine birdies, one bogey and the double bogey.

Chez Reavie hit an eagle on the 18th set up by a nice fairway wood, finishing up with a five-under 66 to be joint seventh among a host of players.

After his dramatic top-four finish at The Open, Louis Oosthuizen carded a three-under 68, while Royal St George's fifth-place getter Dylan Frittelli started with a two-under 69.

Former major winners Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia are both a stroke back at one under. Johnson hit four birdies and three bogeys, while Garcia landed three birdies in four holes but struggled to find the consistency.

Irishman Seamus Power has waited a long time for his maiden career PGA Tour victory and he had to endure six playoff holes to claim the Barbasol Championship over J.T. Poston on Sunday.

Power and Poston finished the final 18 on Sunday tied at 21 under, before it required six playoff holes to split the pair at Keene Trace Golf Club in Kentucky.

Playing the 18th hole for the fourth time in the playoff, Poston made a costly error when he teed off into the penalty area with the ball bouncing into the water.

Power capitalised by making par for the sixth time in the six playoff holes, despite missing his initial putt.

The triumph marks 34-year-old Power's first on the PGA Tour, coming in his 106th start.

Power said: "It's been a bit of a struggle of a season early. I've found a bit of form recently. This changes everything for me. Forever I'll be able to say I'm a winner on the PGA Tour."

The Irishman had earlier carded a five-under-67 on the final round as Poston, who led by four shots at one stage, let it slip.

Poston was not helped by a double bogey on the 15th hole after his drive landed marginally out of bounds, before Power birdied on the final hole to force extra holes.

India's Anirban Lahiri carded an exceptional final round seven-under-65 to finish one shot behind the lead pair, along with American Sam Ryder who had seven birdies on the final day.

Lahiri and Ryder carded 20 under across 72 holes, with Patrick Rodgers, Henrik Norlander, Ryan Armour, Mito Pereira, James Hahn and Luke List all finishing at 19 under.

The 149th Open Championship concluded in thrilling fashion on Sunday as Collin Morikawa claimed the Claret Jug.

It was a fitting finale to a memorable tournament, which marked the return of fans en masse to watch golf's oldest major.

Royal St George's was bathed in sunshine for all four days and it was a joyous event for everyone in attendance.

Stats Perform's man on the ground said a fond farewell to the Kent links, but not before one last wander around the course.

SHELTER FROM THE WARM

The soaring temperatures made walking the course a test of endurance, and not everyone was keen to partake.

What few spots of shade there were soon became occupied by weary bodies, sheltering from the warmth of the sun.

The queues at the water refill points were longer than for the grandstands.

CELEB SPOTTING (TAKE TWO)

It may have been premature to share the story of a chance encounter with British comedian Michael McIntyre on Saturday, as Sunday heralded the arrival of an even bigger celebrity.

Milling around outside the entrance to the media centre, and somehow not surrounded by a large crowd of autograph hunters, was One Direction's Niall Horan.

He's a keen golf fan and can often be seen at the majors rubbing shoulders with the biggest names in the sport.

FLAGGING...

At the end of a long tournament, some members of the media pack wanted a morale-boosting moment, so waited patiently for Champion Golfer of the Year Morikawa to exit from the interview room in hope of an autograph or photo.

Two had souvenir flags with Open Championship branding, in the expectation Morikawa might take the time to sign them.

He bolted through the doors carrying the Claret Jug, saw his waiting fans, but had no time to stop, telling them: "Sorry guys. Maybe I'll see you later."

Oh, the disappointment. 

Open champion Collin Morikawa revealed the unexpected and tasty secret to his success after winning the Claret Jug at the first attempt on Sunday.

The 24-year-old produced a blemish-free 66 in a stunning final round at Royal St George's to thwart the charge of Jordan Spieth and eclipse overnight leader Louis Oosthuizen.

Morikawa, who also won the 2020 US PGA Championship on debut, secured his second major win in eight entries after starting the day a shot behind Oosthuizen.

In the end his greatest beef was with 2017 Champion Golfer of the Year Spieth, who recovered from being two over through six holes to sign for a 66 himself, finishing two back.

But Morikawa, who saw playing partner Oosthuizen limp to a closing 71, clearly relished the challenge as he went bogey-free to make mincemeat of the field in sizzling sunshine on the Kent coast.

But, when grilled by the media as to what the key to his triumph was, Morikawa had an answer nobody saw coming.

"The secret? Well, I never do this, but I had a burger for four straight days, so my body is probably feeling it. I know my body's feeling it," he said.

"I think I just enjoy these moments, and I talk about it so much that we love what we do. And you have to embrace it.

"You have to be excited about these opportunities, and that's how I looked at it today, especially coming down the stretch, was I'm excited. To have the Claret Jug right here in my possession for a year, I believe, I'm excited to have it."

Runner-up Spieth lamented his putting as he came up short, but Morikawa was delighted with that side of his own game.

He made a succession of potentially tricky putts, including one for birdie from around 15 feet on the 14th just after Spieth had cut the gap to one.

"Definitely one of the best [putting displays], especially inside 10 feet," he said.

"I felt like it was as solid as it's going to get. I don't think I really missed many from that distance. Especially in a major.

"I think in a major on a Sunday in contention, I wasn't thinking about anything other than making a putt.

"I'm going to tell myself probably tomorrow: 'Why can't I keep doing that all the time?'.

"But you know, I'm going to try to figure out what worked and use that for the future because I know I can putt well. I know I can putt well in these pressure situations. I've just got to keep doing that."

Jordan Spieth was left to lament a slack finish to his third round after he came up just short at The Open on Sunday.

The 2017 Champion Golfer of the Year recovered from two over through six to sign for a final-round 66, which left him two shots shy of winner Collin Morikawa.

But it was Saturday's round at Royal St George's that bothered the three-time major winner, who dropped shots at each of the last two holes.

Reflecting on a close call with what would have been a first major triumph since that success at Royal Birkdale four years ago, Spieth was quick to point out where it went wrong.

"It's hard to be upset when I was a couple over through six," he said. "I couldn't have really done much more after that point.

"But the finish yesterday was about as upset as I've taken a finish of a round to the house. I walked in and I said: 'Is there something that I can break?'.

"I knew that was so important because I would have been in the final group."

Spieth is usually a safe bet with the putter in his hand, but the 27-year-old felt that side of his game was lacking in Kent.

He took 1.58 putts per greens in regulation, which was better than the field average of 1.68, but Spieth felt he was well short of his own high standard.

"My putting is not where I want to be at all," conceded. "I say at all; It's progressing the right direction, but it's not where it has been.

"I know what needs to do to get there, and it's just very difficult to do. But it's rounds like today or this week, major championship rounds, where you have to obviously test not only your touch out here, but also a lot of knobs and breaking putts and trust lines. It's a good test for it.

"I just wasn't extremely sharp with the putter this week. I was sharper than I was at Augusta, and it's been a little bit kind of here and there this year.

"My bad weeks have been okay and my good weeks are really good, but I needed to put in a little bit of work."

Paying tribute to champion Morikawa, who has two major wins from eight starts, Spieth added: "He swings the club beautifully, gets it in positions that make it very, very difficult to not start the ball online, so therefore, he's going to be very consistent tee to green.

"At 24, obviously there's a bright future ahead."

Collin Morikawa produced a stunning final round to win The Open by two strokes from Jordan Spieth at Royal St George's.

The 2020 US PGA Championship winner added a second major to his list of honours in only his eighth appearance in such tournaments, with this his debut at the oldest of golf's four headline events.

His blemish-free 66 on Sunday ensured he overturned the one-stroke overnight lead that Louis Oosthuizen had held, while Spieth closed with the same score as he came up just short.

Morikawa nailed a lengthy birdie putt on the 14th, just after Spieth's run of four gains in four holes around the turn had cut the gap to one, and the 24-year-old never looked back as he sealed the prize on 15 under.

 

Spieth, the 2017 champion at Royal Birkdale, and Oosthuizen, who triumphed at St Andrews in 2010, had each been chasing a second Claret Jug.

But Morikawa showed nerves of steel as he refused to wilt in the sunshine on the Kent coast, the American averaging 1.5 putts per greens in regulation.

He needed to hit such a high level to keep Spieth at bay, his compatriot rallying from two over for the day after six holes to close at 13 under.

Oosthuizen endured the frustration of finishing as runner-up at the US PGA Championship and the U.S. Open this year and he suffered more disappointment following a closing 71.

Pre-tournament favourite Jon Rahm wrapped things up in style with a 66 and he will return to the world number one spot next week, displacing Dustin Johnson. 

Reigning champion Shane Lowry finished at six under, while Rory McIlroy closed with a 71 to wrap up a low-key outing at even par.

SHOT OF THE DAY

Morikawa's approach shot on the 14th was short and left him with a long uphill putt for birdie on a par five that was playing at a generous average of 4.6.

Spieth was on the charge and momentum looked to shift in the three-time major winner's favour, but Morikawa turned a potential negative into an overwhelming positive with one decisive swipe of the putting blade.

It was the point at which the engravers may as well have started putting his name on the silverware.

CHIPPING IN

Shane Lowry: "I really enjoyed the whole week. It was an amazing experience. Walking down the last hole today was one of the coolest things you'll ever get to do, and I got to do it."

Rory McIlroy: "For me at the minute it's just the process of trying to work my way back to the sort of form and the sort of the level that I know I can play at."

Brooks Koepka: "I like coming over here and playing links golf. It's always a bunch of fun, and I've always said that it's the one tournament a year where the fans actually know what a good shot is."

A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME

- Louis Oosthuizen's last three major results are now tied second (US PGA Championship), second (U.S. Open), and tied third (The Open).

- Shane Lowry's failure to retain the Claret Jug means no player has successfully defended the honour at Royal St George's since Harry Vardon in 1899.

- Germany's Matthias Schmid won the silver medal for low amateur after finishing two over par.

Collin Morikawa held the lead after nine holes of the final round at The Open as Louis Oosthuizen slipped back on Sunday.

Morikawa, the 2020 US PGA Championship winner, reached the turn 14 under overall as the American moved four strokes clear of overnight leader Oosthuizen, with Jordan Spieth now his closest rival.

South African Oosthuizen is eyeing a wire-to-wire triumph at Royal St George's, where he and Spieth are each looking to lift the Claret Jug for a second time.

Oosthuizen won it in 2010 at St Andrews, while Spieth – who was 11 under through 10 – triumphed at Royal Birkdale in 2017.

It would be a bitter pill to swallow for Oosthuizen should he miss out in Kent, as he has already endured two runner-up finishes in majors this year and six in his career.

Jon Rahm got himself into the mix at eight under through six before giving a stroke back, with Corey Conners, and Dylan Frittelli on the fringes.

Four-time major winner Brooks Koepka carded a final-round 65 to close on eight under, leaving him to lament Saturday's 72.

"It's definitely a missed opportunity," he said. "I didn't play good enough on Saturday. Doesn't really matter what I finished today. I didn't have a chance to win. That's disappointing."

 

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