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Morikawa avoids play-off woe as Lowry boosts FedEx rankings

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Collin Morikawa gets a fist bump from Justin Thomas after defeating him in a three-hole playoff to win the Workday Charity Open. Photo: USA TODAY Sports

Collin Morikawa gets a fist bump from Justin Thomas after defeating him in a three-hole playoff to win the Workday Charity Open. Photo: USA TODAY Sports

USA TODAY Sports

Collin Morikawa gets a fist bump from Justin Thomas after defeating him in a three-hole playoff to win the Workday Charity Open. Photo: USA TODAY Sports

Collin Morikawa narrowly avoided another play-off heartbreak, defeating Justin Thomas in a tightly contested bout at the Workday Charity Open in Dublin, Ohio last night.

The 23-year-old, who suffered a play-off defeat at the Charles Schwab Challenge last month, hung on to claim his second PGA Tour win in just 24 starts after his fellow American Thomas bogeyed on 16 and 18 to send the pair into extra holes.

"Justin wasn't going to give it to me. He was fighting through the entire day," said Morikawa after clinching the win. "I'm excited right now, I'm so happy."

Tied at 19-under par after four rounds, the pair put on a putting masterclass on the first playoff hole for birdies, with Thomas letting out a roar after sinking a more than 50-foot putt.

But Thomas, who had been flawless through the first three rounds at Muirfield Village Golf Club, missed the fairway on the third play-off hole and got stuck behind a tree, and it was Morikawa who kept his nerve for the win.

The Muirfield Village Golf Club event was added to the PGA Tour's calendar after the John Deere Classic, which was supposed to be held in Illinois, was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Graeme McDowell couldn't find the right gear to propel himself up the leaderboard in the final round, instead having to settle for a tie of 35th place.

The 40-year-old carded a level-par 72 in his final round, which was his worst round of the week, to slide down the final standings, but ultimately saw him record a weekend finish for the first time since the PGA Tour returned from lockdown.

Shane Lowry finished well in Ohio carding six birdies in a three-under-par 69 that saw him finish the weekend at four-under-par in a tie for 39th, which takes him to 145th in the FedEx Cup rankings.

Meanwhile, Scotland's Marc Warren registered his first European Tour victory since 2014 as he triumphed at the Austrian Open after a concluding round of two-under 70.

Warren, having started the day with a share of the lead alongside one German in Nicolai Von Dellingshausen, finished a shot clear of another, Marcel Schneider, on 13-under par at the Diamond Country Club near Vienna.

Gavin Moynihan, meanwhile, finished 14 shots behind the winner after a final round of 70 following Saturday's 76.

Irish Independent