Former Cal star Collin Marikawa came ever so close to winning his first pro golf title, but fell one stroke short Sunday in the 3M Open in Blaine, Minn.
Morikawa, who competed for Cal in the NCAA tournament just five weeks ago, thought he needed a birdie on the final hole to tie Bryson DeChambeau for the lead and force a playoff. Morikawa's playing partner Matthew Wolff, who began the day tied for the lead with Morikawa, also was a stroke off the lead at 19 under par heading into the final hole.
Morikawa did his part by getting his birdie with a 4 on the par-5 18th hole to finish at 20 under par, but Wolff spoiled the plans by getting an eagle-3 on the 18th hole to finish at 21-under and beat Marikawa and DeChambeau by a stroke.
On his shot before sinking his birdie putt on the final hole, Morikawa had a chance to tie, but he barely missed his eagle putt attempt from 22 feet away in the middle of the 18th green. When the ball rolled past the left edge and about 3 feet beyond, Morikawa winced.
''I hit a really good putt. I thought it was good from the start and once it got about halfway I knew it was a little low. What can you do?'' said Morikawa.
He had bad luck on the 17th hole as well as his putt for birdie on that hole horseshoed out, forcing him to settle for par.
Take a look at the shot that won the event for Wolff:
The 22-year-old Morikawa and Wolff, 20, grew up 30 minutes apart in southern California and they played college golf against each other.
Morikawa and DeChambeau finished two strokes ahead of fourth-place finisher Adam Hadwin.
Wolff took home first-place prize money of $1,152,000, while Morikawa and DeChambeau each earned $642,400. Not bad for someone who was an amateur two months ago.
Mlive.com reporter comments on the finish:
Morikawa fired a 7-under-par 64 on Saturday to enter the final round tied for the lead. He struggled early in the final round, bogeying two of the first three holes. But he had had seven birdies and no bogeys the rest of the day to finish Sunday's round with a 5-under-par 66. Morikawa made a late charge with birdies on six of the final eight holes, but playing partner Wolff had two birdies and that eagle on the final five holes to finish at 6-under 65.