When Collin Morikawa stuck his drive to seven feet on the par-4 16th hole at TPC Harding Park, the golf world collectively praised the shot as the greatest of the young man’s career. Morikawa went on to make an eagle on the hole and win the PGA Championship by two strokes.
As incredible as that drive was in the biggest moment of Morikawa’s golf life, he might’ve just bested it with another shot at the TOUR Championship. In the third round of the season finale, Morikawa holed a seemingly impossible bunker shot from a buried lie that might’ve been even more impressive than his PGA Championship-winning drive.
Collin Morikawa already owns a plethora of great golf shots at 23
Morikawa is just 23 years old, but he’s undoubtedly one of the best players on the PGA Tour. In his first full season on Tour, Morikawa has six top-10 finishes and two wins, including his first career major at the 2020 PGA Championship.
Morikawa is already the No. 5 ranked golfer in the entire world. He’s established himself as one of the most precise ball strikers on Tour, and he possesses the clutch gene that most younger players don’t have.
That was made evident during his first win of 2020. After Justin Thomas made a bomb of a putt on the first playoff hole of the Workday Charity Open, Morikawa needed to hole a 24-footer to extend the tournament. Without any semblance of nerves, Morikawa drained the putt and went on to defeat Thomas on the second playoff hole.
But his greatest shot to date came from the first major of the year.
Morikawa’s drive on the 16th hole of the PGA Championship was his greatest shot to date
Down the backstretch of the 2020 PGA Championship, the Wanamaker Trophy was anyone’s to win. No one was separating themself from the pack, so it was going to take a heroic finish to bring home the first major of the year.
He stepped to the drivable 16th hole with a decision to make. Lay up and try to make birdie the long way, or go for the green? Morikawa chose the daring route, and boy did it pay off.
He cut a drive right around the trees and onto the green, and the ball rolled out to seven feet away from the hole. Morikawa made the eagle put to take a two-shot lead in the championship — a lead he would never relinquish.
Morikawa’s drive on 16 immediately became known as the greatest shot of his golf career, but he might’ve just bested it.
Morikawa’s bunker hole-out at the TOUR Championship might be his most impressive yet
In terms of timing, Morikawa might never beat his drive at the PGA Championship because of what it led to. But his most recent bunker hole-out at the TOUR Championship might be more impressive in terms of the shot itself.
In the third round at East Lake Golf Club, Morikawa hit his approach shot into the greenside bunker on the first hole. The ball ended up plugging into the upslope, leaving Morikawa with a seemingly impossible shot.
He lined up with his right foot about a yard lower than his left, with his knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Anything on the green from that buried lie would’ve been a great shot, but what Morikawa did was jaw-dropping.
Morikawa hacked the ball out of the bunker, and it rolled 47 feet into the hole for an unlikely birdie.
“Well, this is virtually impossible, and David Feherty said he thinks it’s the most difficult bunker shot he’s ever seen holed and I might have to agree,” analyst Paul Azinger said on the NBC broadcast.
Both Feherty and Azinger have seen their fair share of bunker shots in their lives, so that’s high praise for Morikawa’s miracle shot. In terms of difficulty and execution, it might be the greatest golf shot he’s ever hit.