Morikawa's Just Getting Started, and He's Already in Elite Company
After losing in a playoff last month at Colonial, and missing the cut at the Travelers Championship two weeks ago, Collin Morikawa was able to put his past misfortunes to the side as he took home his second PGA Tour event victory on Sunday at The Workday Charity Open. The pressure was certainly on Morikawa, but he was able to deliver by taking down Justin Thomas on the third playoff hole to win the tournament. Morikawa was able to show great poise as he drilled a 25-foot putt on the first playoff hole to keep his tournament chances alive.
The Workday Charity Open was the 24th start of Morikawa's career on the PGA Tour since turning pro last summer. He only has missed the cut once in his young career, putting him three shy of Tiger Woods record for most consecutive cuts made to begin a career. Morikawa did join Tiger's elite company, however, with the win at Muirfield Village as he became the second player in PGA Tour history to win his second tournament before missing his second cut.
For the last three years, success on the golf course is not something new to Morikawa. While playing four years at The University of California-Berkeley, he was a three-time first-team All-American and was named the 2018 Golfweek Men's National Player of the Year. In 2019, Morikawa was able to Pac-12 Player of the Year honors, while also becoming the No. 1 in the world Amateur Golf Rankings.
Morikawa is a golfer that all PGA fans should have on their radar for the rest of 2020 and the years that follow. For starters, he was ranked outside the top 1,000 in the world just 13 months ago, but today he is sitting at No. 13. The 23-year old from Los Angeles, California has put together a couple of strong performances by adding two top-10 finishes in the four events since the PGA Tour returned from its pause due to Covid-19. During that time Morikawa's FedEx Cup Ranking has gone from 21, all the way up to being ranked number six on the PGA Tour.
Morikawa's Sunday round at Muirfield Village was eye-opening for multiple reasons, many of them showed why the second-year pro can be a force on the PGA Tour for years to come. According to PGA Tour Morikawa finished Sunday's round by gaining nearly six strokes with his iron. That is the best final round number by a winner since the stat started being tracked in 2004.
Something that should not go unnoticed was his ability and poise to hang with Justin Thomas in the closing holes of The Workday Charity Open. Thomas is a golfer who has been ranked No. 1 in the world and has been within the top five throughout the last several years. For a 23-year old to battle with and end up defeating the No. 1 player in the world, that is no small accomplishment.
Would you be shocked if Collin Morikawa won at Memorial this weekend? It really wouldn't be all that shocking and that is a testament to Morikawa's unlimited potential and the level he is playing right now. Whether it's Justin Thomas, or even Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, Morikawa is going to be a problem for the other elite golfers on the PGA Tour for years to come.
You can follow me on Twitter at @RyanLiedel