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Cal Golf: Collin Morikawa's Big 2021 Season Ends Quietly at the Tour Championship

Patrick Cantlay prevails to capture the $15 million FedEx Cup playoff prize.

Collin Morikawa shot a 2-over-par 72 in Sunday’s final round of the Tour Championship, finishing in a tie for 26th place in the 30-player event which capped the three-week FedEx Cup playoffs.

The 24-year-old Cal grad took home a very respectable payday of $425,000. Of course, that’s not what anyone entered in the event has in mind.

Patrick Cantlay won the season-ending tournament and took home a stunning $15 million prize. Runner-up Jon Rahm, the world’s No. 1-ranked player, won $5 million for finishing second.

Morikawa began the three-tournament playoff ranked first in the FedEx Cup standings but has been off his game ever since the Tokyo Olympics in July, when he injured his back in the first round.

He missed the cut in The Northern Trust, which kicked off the playoffs, then finished in a tie for 63rd place a week ago at the BMW Championship. That dropped Morikawa to 11th in the FedEx Cup standings, which allowed him to start this week at 3-under par.

Cantlay, by winning the BMW, vaulted to the top of the standings, which gave him a 10-stroke edge entering the staggered scoring event. He finished four days at the East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta with a combined score of 21 under par, one stroke better than Rahm.

“It’s fantastic,” said Cantlay, 29. “It’s such a great honor because it’s all year. I played really consistent all year and caught fire at the end. There’s a lot of satisfaction considering all the work I’m put in my whole life.”

Morikawa’s next assignment will be the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin, Sept. 24-26. Joining Morikawa on the U.S. team are Cantlay, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, and six more who are due to be announced this week,

Morikawa said each of the past two weeks that his back is feeling better but that he developed bad habits in his swing while compensating for the injury.

His play this week was more evidence of the current uneven nature of his game. He had just one round under par, finishing 72 holes with 15 birdies, 11 bogeys and three double-bogeys.

Only one golfer who completed all four rounds, 22-year-old Joaquin Niemann of Chile, finished below Morikawa. Brooks Koepka withdrew midway through Saturday’s third round because of a wrist injury.

Morikawa, who joined the PGA Tour after graduating in the spring of 2019, had an impressive season, the last few weeks notwithstanding. 

Ranked among the top 5 in the world most of the season, he won twice, including at the British Open, had eight top-10 finishes and earned more than $7 million to push his career winnings above $14 million.

Cover photo of FedEx Cup winner Patrick Cantlay by Adam Hagy, USA Today

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo