Collin Morikawa has only been playing golf professionally for almost two and a half years. In this short time, the 24-year-old Californian has already won five times on the American PGA Tour, including two major victories, the 2020 PGA Championship and this year the British Open. The 1.75-meter-tall professional from Los Angeles is already considered one of the best in the world, although he only hits the ball on average from the tee. But he more than makes up for that with his precision with the irons. On Sunday, the world number two achieved a very special coup. He was the first American to win the Race to Dubai, the money list of the European Tour, which was called the Order of Merit from 1972 to 2008.

But not only that: Morikawa also won the final tournament of the fifty season best of the European Tour on Sunday on the Earth Course of the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai. With a brilliant final round of 66 strokes, he secured one of the largest prize money in golf: three million dollars (around 2.66 million euros). In addition, there is another million dollars (886,500 euros) from the bonus pool for winning the Race to Dubai. The last time this double victory was achieved by the Spanish world number one Jon Rahm two years ago. He canceled his participation in Dubai two weeks ago and remains number one, just ahead of Morikawa.

After his glamorous appearance in the United Arab Emirates, hardly anyone doubts that Morikova will one day be at the top of the professional world rankings (three weeks in 2018), as in the amateur world rankings.

The American, who came as the front runner in the Race to Dubai, expanded his lead in the Race to Dubai with the prize money.

He won the season's ranking with 5854.4 points, which corresponds to prize money of around 5.85 million euros, ahead of his compatriot Billy Horschel (3716.2 points) who only finished 32nd on Sunday.

Change of coach pays off

Just as confidently as the money list, Morikawa also won the last tournament on the European Tour, which will be called the DP World Tour for ten years from next week, when the new 2021/22 season begins in South Africa. Morikawa secured his fourth victory on the European Tour with 271 strokes (17 under par). Thanks to his final sprint of five birdies on the last seven holes, the two runners-up, last year's English winner Matt Fitzpatrick and the Swede Alexander Björk (both 274 strokes), were three strokes back in the end.

While Morikawa held up two trophies at the award ceremony, Rory McIlroy experienced one of the bitterest days of his glamorous career - and that at a tournament that he had already won twice, in 2012 and 2015. The Northern Irish had led the field after the first and third laps. In interviews he had repeatedly stated that he was at peace with himself and his game. He's back in big tournaments for victory. After his disappointing performance at the Ryder Cup in Wisconsin, McIlroy had switched back to his coach Michael Bannon, who coached him at his home club in Holywood since he was eight.

The change was worth it. In his first tournament after the Ryder Cup, he celebrated his twentieth win on the PGA Tour at the CJ Cup in Las Vegas. He went into the final round on Sunday with three strokes ahead of fifth-placed Morikawa. After missing a few birdie chances, his second stroke hit the flagpole on the 15th hole, jumped into the bunker, and McIlroy received a bogey. This mishap shook the crowd's darling badly, who then went through two more bogeys. McIlroy fell back to tied sixth place with a final round of 74 and a total of 276 strokes.

Morikawa fought back tears at the awards ceremony and found it difficult to give all the usual thanks.

Shortly after the round, when his victory was already certain before McIlroy reached the last green, the American was able to explain his latest coup perfectly: “I couldn't play birdies on the first six holes.

But when I saw after nine holes that I was still only two or three strokes back, I still believed that I could still win the tournament.

My birdie on the twelfth hole was the spark that really got me going.

To be the first American to win the Race to Dubai feels great.

It is a very special honor. "