10 Notes to Know: March 1, 2021

March 1, 2021
Justin Ray
  1. Fueled by surgical precision with his irons all week, Collin Morikawa cruised to a three-stroke victory at the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession. Morikawa led the field in strokes gained approach, racking up more than 9.5 shots over the field in that statistic for the tournament. Morikawa became just the second player to win a major and a World Golf Championship before the age of 25, joining Tiger Woods.
  1. Morikawa is one of just five players with four or more PGA Tour wins over the last three seasons. The others in that group are Dustin Johnson (five wins), Rory McIlroy (four), Justin Thomas (four) and Brooks Koepka (four). With the victory, Morikawa became one of just seven players since World War II with four PGA Tour wins, including a major, before turning 25 years old.
  1. Morikawa racked up 27 birdies for the week, tied for the second-most birdies-or-better ever recorded at this tournament across all venues. The only player to ever make more in a single week was Scott McCarron, who had 29 in a sixth-place finish at Mount Juliet in 2002. Woods won that week.
  1. Viktor Hovland was part of a trio of players tied for second, three behind Morikawa. Hovland was in the thick of contention despite carding an eight on his final hole on Friday. No player has won with a score of eight or worse on the scorecard since Phil Mickelson won the 2009 Tour Championship despite carding a dreaded snowman. Hovland would have been the youngest winner in World Golf Championship history had he come through on Sunday.
  1. Nelly Korda shot a bogey-free final round 69 to win the Gainbridge LPGA, her fourth career victory on that circuit. It comes a few weeks after her sister, Jessica, won the previous tournament on the LPGA schedule, the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. It’s the first time that sisters won consecutive events on the LPGA since Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam in 2000. This is the first time American players have won the first two LPGA events of the year since 2007.
  1. Buoyed by four straight birdies on her closing nine, Lydia Ko finished tied for second, three behind Korda. This was the third runner-up finish for Ko since her last LPGA victory, the 2018 LPGA Mediheal Championship. Her finish ties the best result she has ever had to begin an LPGA season – she started the 2015 season with a tie for second, as well.
  1. Branden Grace finished the final round of the Puerto Rico Open eagle-birdie to win by one stroke over Jhonattan Vegas. Grace is the first player to win on the PGA Tour playing the final two holes in three-under or better since Jon Rahm at the 2017 Farmers Insurance Open – and is just the third player to do it in the last 10 years.
  1. Grace missed only one fairway and one green in regulation in his final round. He is just the fourth player since 2000 to win a PGA Tour event missing one or fewer fairway and one or fewer green in the final round, joining Aaron Wise at the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson, J.P. Hayes at the 2002 John Deere Classic and Scott Verplank at the 2000 Reno-Tahoe Open. It was the 14th professional worldwide win for Grace and second on the PGA Tour.
  1. Kevin Sutherland birdied two of his last three holes to win the Cologuard Classic by one stroke over Mike Weir. It’s the fifth PGA Tour Champions win for Sutherland, and his second of the 2020-21 ‘mega’ season on the senior circuit. Weir, the 2003 Masters champion, played the last ten holes of the tournament in three-over-par. Weir was seeking his first win worldwide since 2007.
  1. The PGA Tour shifts next week to the Bay Hill Club and Lodge, which played extremely difficult one year ago. Last year, the course yielded an average score of 74.11, making it the most difficult on the Tour all season. The field hit only 50.5% of the greens in regulation that week, the lowest percentage in a non-major on the PGA Tour since the 2005 Canadian Open at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club (49.8%).