Collin Morikawa was a stud in college at Cal-Berkeley, so he should be in comfortable climes this week in nearby San Francisco.
The second-year pro sampled TPC Harding Park at The Goodwin, an event hosted by Stanford in 2018. He finished T-5th at an event filled with top-100 players, including then-No. 1 Justin Suh from USC.
That was actually one of Morikawa’s more underwhelming results while ranked as the top amateur in the world.
The talented ball striker has been touted for his remarkable consistency on the PGA Tour. A streak of 22 straight made cuts to start his pro career came to end a few weeks ago at the Memorial, falling just shy of Tiger Woods’ record of 25 straight.
The 23-year-old isn’t just making the weekend on the number. He won in 2019 at the Barracuda Championship and last month at the Workday Charity Open. Morikawa was also in a playoff in June at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
On recent play and talent alone, Morikawa is a bona fide pick to win this week. He ranks fourth on the PGA Tour in strokes gained tee to green (1.507). Part of that is due to his irons — he ranks top 50 in proximity from all categories between 100-200 yards.
The biggest drawback is his lack of major experience. His only start was a T-35th at the 2019 U.S. Open.
Putting has been his weakness, but perhaps some knowledge of this week’s greens will give him a leg up.