Charles Schwab Challenge: Daniel Berger triumphs after dramatic final day play-off with Collin Morikawa

Daniel Berger wins 2020 Charles Schwab Challenge, donning the plaid jacket and lifting the Leonard trophy after edging Collin Morikawa

A review of the action from the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas, as Daniel Berger edged Collin Morikawa to the trophy.

Leaderboard

-15 Daniel Berger, Collin Morikawa

-14 Jason Kokrak, Bryson DeChambeau, Juston Rose, Xander Schauffele

-13 Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed


Final round report

Daniel Berger ended a three-year wait for his third PGA Tour title after claiming the Charles Schwab Challenge at the first extra hole in a thrilling final round at Colonial Country Club.

No fewer than 10 players were battling for the lead throughout the last 18 holes of the PGA Tour's return to action after 91 days in Texas, and it was Berger who emerged as the champion when Collin Morikawa's par putt from four feet lipped out with Berger already in for a par-four.

It proved the second bad miss in a row for Morikawa, who had a putt for victory in regulation after clipping a bold second to five feet on the 18th, only to pull the birdie chance left of the target and left him a tap-in for his third consecutive round of 67 which left him in a tie at the top with Berger on 15-under par.

The top two finished one clear of Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Rose and long-time leader Xander Schauffele, with Jason Kokrak's late charge also earning a share of third place, while the hopes of Rory McIlroy were dashed by a semi-shank with his second to the first which set the tone for an outward 41 which took him out of the running.

Winless since the successful defence of the FedEx St Jude Classic title in 2017, Berger said: "I think when I won my first couple, I took it a little bit for granted thinking that every year it was just going to be easy and you'd have that chance to win.

"But it's tough out here. It's cut-throat, and the best players in the world every week are showing up. I worked my butt off the last year to be in this position, and I'm just glad it all paid off."

Daniel Berger wins the Charles Schwab Challenge on the 17th hole with a play-off against Collin Morikawa

As Berger and Morikawa headed off to the 17th tee for extra holes, Schauffele would have been kicking himself the most among the group finishing a shot off the pace.

The overnight-leader looked in control of his game and his temperament throughout the day and he was two under through 14 holes before making an awful mistake at 15, where he pulled his approach too far left and found the water hazard.

To his credit, he holed a 30-foot putt to limit the damage to a bogey-five, and he jumped back into a share of the lead with putt of similar range on the next green, only to suffer a horrible 360-degree lip-out from three feet at the penultimate hole.

Schauffele's long-range birdie attempt at the last came up short and he was left to reflect on what might have been along with Rose, who birdied 12, 13 and 17 and thought he had made another at the last, only for his ball to burn the edge of the hole and stay out.

DeChambeau literally muscled his way to the top of the leaderboard as he ignored the trials and tribulations of playing-partner McIlroy to make three birdies in four holes around the turn, and he set up another with a near-perfect wedge to a few inches at 14.

The Ryder Cup star then found himself as the outright leader when he holed from the fringe at the 15th, but he got a flyer from the rough at 17 and failed to find the putting surface with a delicate flop-shot recovery, eventually two-putting from 20 feet to drop his only shot of the day.

That blemish would ultimately cost him a place in the play-off as he signed for a 66 to finish in a share of third with Rose, Schauffele and Kokrak, who made his seventh and eighth birdies of a superb final-round 64 at 16 and 17, and he lipped out for another at the last.

It would all come down to a two-way shootout between Morikawa and Berger, who gained the advantage when he split the 17th fairway with a solid iron off the tee after Morikawa had carved his into the trees, from where he managed to smother his second and chased it up short and left of the green.

Berger over-hit his approach and found the rear rough, although he had a fairly routine up-and-down to save par while Morikawa played a delightful pitch which rolled out to around four feet short of the cup, only for him to miss the par save which handed Berger the title.

Further challenges from major champions Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Gary Woodland faded down the stretch, while McIlroy endured his worst nine holes of golf since his woeful start to The Open at Royal Portrush last July.

A bogey at the first, the easiest hole on the course, set the alarm bells off and he dropped further shots at four and five before making a mess of the seventh, running up a double-bogey six, and he missed from four feet for par at the ninth to slip to six over for the round.

McIlroy did salvage a little respectability when he birdied two of the last three holes to card a 74 - six under for the tournament and finishing outside the top 30 since missing the cut at Portrush.


Third round report

Xander Schauffele led going into the final round

Xander Schauffele takes a one-shot lead into the final round of the Charles Schwab Challenge, where several of the biggest names in golf remain in the hunt.

The American made six birdies in a Saturday 66 which was among the most impressive scores of the afternoon, as a gentle breeze and soaring temperatures made life difficult in Texas.

For much of the day, Jordan Spieth was out in front as he searches for an overdue victory, but a series of clumsy mistakes late in the round confined him to a big tie for second place.

It includes Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Branden Grece and Gary Woodland, with Daniel Berger and Harold Varner also right in the mix on what's a packed and mouthwatering leaderboard.

Justin Rose dropped two shots late on to fall to 10-under and three adrift alongside Rory McIlroy, with Patrick Reed's best-of-the-day 63 also sending him to within three of the leader.

Schauffele will be looking to end a series of frustrating runner-up finishes since he was last victorious in 2018, and put his sharpness this week down to some practice rounds in the company of Phil Mickelson.

Second round report

Rory McIlroy in action

World number one Rory McIlroy shot a 63 on the second day of the Charles Schwab Challenge in Texas to put himself in contention for golf's first tournament back following the coronavirus suspension.

The Northern Irishman started the second day on two under par and hit an eagle on the 10th hole before finishing on nine under in Fort Worth.

Harold Varner III, who led jointly with Justin Rose after a first-round 63, started his second round with a triple-bogey after his tee shot landed on a bridge. But the American recovered to post a 66 which put him two shots ahead of McIlroy.

Jordan Spieth was a shot off Varner at the halfway stage despite four-putting the 12th hole. He also bogeyed the 13th but followed it up with two birdies.

Texan Spieth said on the PGA Tour website: "I felt that I gave myself some grace to say, look, I haven't really been practising a ton of those kind of short-range putts.

"Those are ones where you just have a ton of them when you're playing in competition but you're picking them up a lot of times when you're playing regular rounds of golf at home."

Rose was sitting on seven under, four shots off the clubhouse lead, halfway through his second round.


First round report

Justin Rose in action

Justin Rose carded a blemish-free round of 63 to take the lead alongside Harold Varner III in the first major tournament since the coronavirus pandemic shut down the sport.

The world number 14 was the clubhouse leader in Fort Worth, Texas, after the early starters finished their rounds, with American Varner holing an 11-foot putt at the 18th to finish on seven under.

It was a poignant round from Varner, the only black American golfer in the field and one who has spoken at length following the murder of George Floyd by a policeman two weeks ago.

Varner hit all 18 greens in regulation to join Rose at the top as he seeks his first PGA Tour win, in an event Rose landed two years ago.

The pair hold a one-shot lead over Jhonattan Vegas, Abraham Ancer, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas, the latter going bogey-free to move into clear favouritism.

Ian Poulter was in a group tied for 16th place after a round of 66 while Phil Mickelson - fresh from his challenge matches with Tiger Woods during the shutdown - stumbled late on in a one-under 69 which promised much more.

The event is the first on the PGA Tour since the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Florida in early March, and has drawn a star-studded field to Texas.

Sixteen of the world top 20 will be in action over the weekend, and top-ranked Rory McIlroy's round of 68 was good enough for a share of 39th place alongside Brooks Koepka, with Jon Rahm a further shot back.

Rose said a bit of luck on the opening hole had set him on his way as he overcame some wayward shots to birdie his first hole.

"I got some momentum," he said on Sky Sports Golf. "I didn't play particularly well on the first six or seven holes but the putter was really hot.

"I got into a nice rhythm and I could have maybe got in the clubhouse better but I rode my luck a little bit."

Rose felt the performance was reward for the work he managed to do during the hiatus.

"I've worked hard for sure," he said. "I haven't just sat around. I had the opportunity to get better. My season wasn't going particularly well up until the Players Championship so you try to look at the positives.

"Obviously it's been a tough situation for everybody across the world, there are some dire circumstances, but you've got to look at yourself, your personal situation, and think, 'How can I make the most of this?'"

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