Rory McIlroy falls away as Daniel Berger wins on PGA Tour resumption

Rory McIlroy falls away as Daniel Berger wins on PGA Tour resumption
Daniel Berger poses with the championship trophy after winning the Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Daniel Berger has defeated fellow American Collin Morikawa in a play-off to win the 2020 Charles Schwab Challenge, the first PGA tournament since the coronavirus suspension.

The 27-year-old sealed victory at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, when Morikawa missed a simple three-foot par putt that would have extended the play-off to a second hole.

Morikawa’s miss followed another errant six-foot birdie putt on the 18th which would have won him the tournament in regulation.

Englishman Justin Rose came agonisingly close to securing a play-off spot, gathering himself after an early bogey to claim six birdies headed into the 18th.

But he missed an 18-foot birdie putt on the last that would have put him equal with Berger on 15-under.

His four-under 66 on Sunday left him tied for third on 14-under alongside Bryson DeChambeau, Jason Kokrak, and overnight leader Xander Schauffele.

Schauffele was also left to rue what could have been when a three-footer on the 17th for par rounded the cup without dropping in.

A 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th then dropped just short, ensuring he too would miss the play-off by one shot.

Meanwhile world number one Rory McIlroy, who went into Sunday alongside Rose at three shots off the lead, found himself out of contention early after shanking an approach on the first.

McIlroy struggled to stay composed throughout the front nine, picking up four bogeys and a double bogey before finally securing a birdie on the 10th.

After a bogey on the 15th, birdies on the 16th and 18th left the Northern Irishman tied for 32nd with a four-over 74.

Briton Matthew Fitzpatrick also closed out his tournament tied for 32nd while compatriot Ian Poulter shot 70 on Sunday to finish tied for 29th on seven under.

The tournament marked a successful return for golf in the post-lockdown era, with all 487 coronavirus tests taken during the week returning negative.

Up next for the PGA Tour is the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, which tees off on Thursday.

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