Dustin Johnson was atop the PGA Championship leaderboard heading into Sunday, this after shooting 9-under and burying 17 birdies through three rounds.
Then Sunday happened.
Johnson hit a 2-under-68 but was outclassed by Collin Morikawa, who shot a 6-under 64 to claim the Wanamaker Trophy. Johnson has now finished runner-up at five majors, including back-to-back PGA Championships.
Is he just not a closer?
“Yeah, it just seems that when he gets control and gets up front, he just hasn’t really found that winning strategy yet,” Golf Channel analyst Notah Begay said on Tiki & Tierney. “He should have won the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, which Jordan Spieth went on to eventually win [in 2015]. He three-putted from inside 15 feet and just hasn’t really had that killer mentality coming down the stretch.”
Johnson, 36, won the U.S. Open in 2016. He has finished in the top five at nine other majors.
“If you got to know Dustin a little bit, he has a pretty laid-back disposition,” Begay said. “He’s just so athletically gifted and developed so many strong components of his game that when he’s firing just at 80, 85 percent, he can win these tournaments. He took the lead into the final round, but you got to play good golf on Sunday to win major championships, and Morikawa went out and shot 6-under. It was the best round of the day in the entire field. Only two other players matched it, and he did exactly what was required.”
Morikawa, 23, is the youngest player to break 65 in the final round of a major victory. He joins Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, and Jack Nicklaus as the youngest PGA Championship winners ever.
“He’s just one of those cerebral players,” Begay said. “He made it look really easy. But what he did in only his second major appearance – and his first appearance in the PGA – he’s one of nine players to have won in their first appearance in the PGA Championship. That just doesn’t happen a lot.”