WMPO Player Profile: Collin Morikawa

Tom MackinJanuary 6, 2023
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Oozing California cool, the Los Angeles native didn’t win last year for the first time in four seasons on Tour. (He did manage eight Top 10 finishes.) Still, his talent is undeniable. The UC Berkeley grad, who got married last November, turns 26 the week of this year’s WM Phoenix Open.

  • CURRENT WORLD GOLF RANKING: 10*
  • CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Won the 2019 Pac-12 championship as a UC Berkeley amateur and the 2020 PGA Championship as a Tour rookie; also the 2021 Open Championship
  • BEST WMPO FINISH: T25 (2020)

*As of 11/28/22

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Mackin: Which was louder: the first tee at the 2021 Ryder Cup or the 16th hole after a good tee shot at the WM Phoenix Open?

Morikawa: I love it anytime we get an atmosphere like that, whether it’s the first tee at a Ryder Cup or at 16. They’re actually similar, weirdly enough. Similar pressure-feeling situations. Once you get a crowd like that, they really amp up everything.

About last year’s wild celebration when Sam Ryder aced 16: Too much, just right, or not crazy enough for you?

I thought it was great. Look, there were a lot of beer cans on the green there, so it wasn’t great for people right behind that group, or even people in that group, but that’s a memory you have forever. You’re not going to forget about holes in one, and you’re definitely not going to forget about that one.

Did you ever have three eagles in one round before or since, like you did during the third round at the 2020 WM Phoenix Open?

Not off the top of my mind. I do remember that stretch of golf. That was the first time I put in a hybrid [driver] in a very long time, so I kind of give a lot of credit to that club I had in the bag.

You were 6-under on the par-5 third hole at TPC Scottsdale in 2020, with two eagles and two birdies. Is that the easiest par 5 you’ve ever played?

I wouldn’t call it the easiest par 5, but it’s definitely one that I have played very well. I can think of a lot of easier par 5s, but I’ll take 6-under on any given hole for any week.