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Collin Morikawa keen to savour taste of success

Collin Morikawa keen to savour taste of success
© Reuters
The American became only the second person after Tiger Woods to win the Open and US PGA before the age of 25.

New Open champion Collin Morikawa intends to take a breather and drink in the history of his achievement – but he will let his caddie choose what gets put in the Claret Jug.

The American, who won the 2020 US PGA Championship on just his second major start, held his nerve to keep compatriot Jordan Spieth at bay on the closing stretch and become the first player to win two different majors on debut.

He eventually finished two shots clear of Spieth on 15 under and became only the second person after Tiger Woods to win the Open and US PGA before the age of 25.

And, having restrained himself all week, he is planning a celebration before heading home.

"I think when you make history – and I'm 24 years old – it's hard to grasp, and it's hard to really take it in," he said.

"At 24 it's so hard to look back at the two short years that I have been a pro and see what I've done because I want more.

"I enjoy these moments and I love it and I want to teach myself to embrace it a little more.

"We've been staying at the hotel right by the course. Every night I see all the caddies drink, and I'm like 'Man, I really want to drink, but I hold back. I hold back on tournament week'.

"It's JJ's (caddie JJ Jakovac) birthday. I'm going to let him decide (what drink to put in the Claret Jug)."

While Morikawa may have been staying away from the alcohol this week, his success seems to have been partly fuelled by fast food.

"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 added.

"I think I just enjoy these moments and I talk about it so much that we love what we do."

When Morikawa recorded his breakthrough major win at the US PGA at Harding Park in San Francisco it was in front of no fans as Covid-19 restrictions were still in full force.

So to do it in front of full grandstands – 30,000 people were allowed into Royal St George's every day this week – was a delight for the American and he was also able to use that fact to answer those who questioned his ability to perform under pressure.

Collin Morikawa celebrates on front of packed grandstands around the 18th green
Morikawa praised the fans at Royal St George's but said he had nothing to prove playing in front of them having won his other major behind closed doors (Gareth Fuller/PA)

"The nerves are definitely up there, but you channel these nerves into excitement and energy, and that puts you away from like a fear factor into 'This is something I want'," he added.

"I had nothing to prove. It's just to you guys (the media). I'm just answering it for you guys that we can play in front of fans.

"They are some of the best fans I've ever seen. They truly understand the game. They appreciate the game. We owe them a huge thank you."

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Phil Mickelson celebrates after winning the US PGA Championship on May 24, 2021
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
JapanJapan124521
ChinaChina115824
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
AustraliaAustralia61916
Great BritainGreat Britain56516
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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