Daniel Berger wins Colonial playoff after lip-outs cost Morikawa, Schauffele

Nick Menta
Golf Channel

With a par on the first extra hole, Daniel Berger won the Charles Schwab Challenge in a playoff over Collin Morikawa, when Morikawa lipped out a par putt from 3 feet. Here’s how Berger took the first event of the PGA Tour’s mid-pandemic restart at Colonial:

Leaderboard: Berger (-15), Morikawa (-15), Jason Kokrak (-14), Bryson DeChambeau (-14), Justin Rose (-14), Xander Schauffele (-14)

What it means: This is Berger’s third PGA Tour win and first in three years, since successfully defending the FedEx St. Jude Classic in June of 2017. The 2016 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, Berger saw his early success on Tour slowed by a wrist injury that hampered him for the better part of two years, in both 2018 and 2019. After missing the FedExCup Playoffs last season, Berger has once again found his form, with Sunday marking his 28th consecutive round of par or better, a streak that dates back to the Zozo Championship.

How it happened: Two off the 54-hole lead, it was Berger who emerged from the chase pack as the first man to post 15 under par when he jarred a 10-footer for birdie at No. 18 to cap off a round of 4-under 66. He then watched from the clubhouse patio as Morikawa missed his birdie try at the end of regulation, sending them both to a playoff. On the first extra hole, Berger nestled a chip near the cup and cleaned up for a routine par. It looked as though both men were headed for a second extra hole, before Morikawa lipped out a 3-footer to hand Berger the win.

Best of the rest: One off the overnight lead held by Schauffele to start the day, Morikawa opened with a bridie at No. 1, took the outright lead for the first time with a birdie at 11, and reclaimed a share of the lead when he buried a 49-footer for birdie at 14. Morikawa had a chance to win in regulation, but his birdie try from 6 feet at the 72nd hole missed low, paving the way for the playoff. Morikawa has made the cut in each of his 21 starts as a professional. That gives him the longest active made-cut streak on Tour and puts him just four behind Tiger Woods (25) for the most consecutive made cuts to start a PGA Tour career in the last 30 years.

Biggest disappointment: One up to start the final round, Schauffele jockeyed for position throughout the day with Morikawa and DeChambeau. Tied for the lead standing in the fairway bunker at No. 15, Schauffele pulled his second and found the water left of the green. He managed to save his bogey when he holed a 31-footer and then vaulted right back into a tie for the lead with a 26-foot birdie make at 16. With Berger and Morikawa in the clubhouse, the tournament was Schauffele’s to lose, and that’s unfortunately what he did when he three-putted 17, his 3-foot par putt doing a horrible horseshoe around the cup.

Schauffele had a chance at the last to force his way into the playoff, but his birdie putt from 24 feet came up short, leaving him to clean up for par and a final-round 69. The four-time PGA Tour winner is now 0-for-4 trying to close a 54-hole lead, following previous attempts at the 2018 Open Championship, the 2019 Tour Championship and the 2020 Tournament of Champions.

Roller-coaster round: Hunting his first worldwide win in three years, Jordan Spieth authored a distinctly Jordan Spieth-like final round. After seemingly playing his way out of contention with three bogeys in four holes, on Nos. 5-8, he rallied back with three birdies in four holes, on Nos. 10-13, to get back within two of the lead. A threat to steal the tournament with a red-hot back nine, Spieth fell out of contention for good when he sailed his tee shot out of bounds at 14, leading to a bogey. Another dropped shot at 17, and Spieth settled for a round of 1-over 71, finishing tied for 10th, four back.

McIlroy’s streak: Three back to start the day, world No. 1 Rory McIlroy bogeyed the first and never recovered. He played his first seven holes in 5 over par Sunday. Three back-nine birdies, including one at the last, resulted in a final-round 74 and a tie for 32nd. McIlroy’s streak of consecutive top-5 finishes ends at seven.

Round of the day: Kokrak carded eight birdies in a round of 6-under 64 to tie for third at 14 under. Playing by himself in the very first tee time of the final round, Brian Stuard also signed for 64 with seven birdies and a lone bogey at 18.

Shot of the day: Berger’s birdie putt on the 72nd hole:

Quote of the day: “I don’t really know if there is a key other than when I came back, I came back stronger than I ever have before, and I wanted it more than I ever have before, and it’s the greatest feeling in the world.” – Berger on the win and his road back from injury

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