"What a shot:" Casey can only watch as PGA hopes vanish

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Paul Casey of England, celebrates after a birdie on the eighth hole during the final round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at TPC Harding Park Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Tied for the lead while standing on the 17th tee, Paul Casey heard what passed for a commotion on the largely silent, fan-free golf course.

He looked behind him and realized his hopes of winning the PGA Championship had suddenly, startlingly vanished.

Collin Morikawa's on-a-rope drive had stopped 7 feet away, just behind Casey, on the 16th green. It set up an eagle that dropped the Englishman two shots behind with two holes to play Sunday. What had been a jammed leaderboard turned into Morikawa's tournament to lose.

He didn't, and Casey had nothing to do but tip his cap.

“What a shot,” Casey said when asked what went through his mind when he saw Morikawa's ball come to rest.

The 43-year-old Casey shot 4-under 66 to finish at 11 under, tied for second with Dustin Johnson and two shots behind the champion.

Casey is now 0 for 64 in majors — the longest current drought out there. But this was not, in his mind, a day to focus on that.

“I played wonderful golf, simple as that,” said Casey, who also has a third at the British Open and a fourth at the Masters on his resume. “And watching Collin come down ... and what a shot he hit on 16, he deserves it.”