Collin Morikawa is coming off an impressive 2020 campaign, notching his first major title at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco and wowing the golf world at just 23 years old.
Collin Morikawa broke out this year, notably having more wins than missed cuts after the PGA Championship. He is in the next wave of elite young golfers, and I had the chance to ask the major champion a few questions in a Q&A.
I’d like to thank OMEGA for setting this up. Morikawa is one of Omega’s biggest sponsors, and I was lucky enough to have him answer a few of my questions about his incredible season and his Omega sponsorship.
My Q&A with Collin Morikawa:
You are now a major winner, having won more tournaments than missed cuts. How does it feel to be put in the conversation of the best golfers in the world right now?
Being included in the conversation of the best golfers in the world is special. Golf is something I’ve always wanted to do, so to be part of those conversations a year and a half into my career as a professional shows my dedication and love for the game. I want to keep getting better as does everyone else. I’ve gotten here so fast that it’s important to take a minute and look around but it’s also important to understand that everyone is striving to improve their game also so the work to get better will be perpetual.
How did you get introduced to OMEGA at first? How did it feel to be so young and having such a classic brand in the golf world want to work with you?
I first got introduced to OMEGA when I used to watch Golf Channel and the commercials featuring Rory would come on with the Hall of Fame song playing and it always stuck with me. I knew about OMEGA being an amazing watch brand and company but having the opportunity to work with them is so special. It’s an honor because you look at the athletes they have, Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, and to be a part of that list of players that I’ve looked up to and watched my whole career is unreal. It’s really cool to be part of such a classic brand that’s not just known in the United States but known around the world which is important to me – to grow with an international brand.
You and Justin Thomas had an epic showdown at the Workday Open. How did it feel to come on top against one of the best golfers in the world, and how thrilling was that battle? Were there any nerves, especially after JT’s 50-foot putt?
Justin Thomas was the first pro I ever sat down and had dinner with at my first start at the RBC Canadian Open. Knowing what he’s done with the game, changing the game as a professional, I want to go against him and compete against him. The final pairing with him at Workday, coming down the stretch with him, knowing I’d need birdies, I’d need my best was everything that I wanted. Moments like that are the ones we live for.
I wasn’t surprised to see him make the 50-foot putt, he’s one of the best in the world and that’s what the best players do. Having the opportunity to put the putt on top of him is what I work for. I wasn’t as nervous as I would have been with fans there but after he made it, I knew I had to make it. You only have 2 options at that point – lose 2 playoffs in a season or go play another hole. Thankfully, it went in but all that meant was there was more work to do and you have to get back to being focused again.
Why was partnering with OMEGA such a natural fit for you?
Partnering with OMEGA was such a natural fit for me because when you look at the brand values and the people they sign and the organizations they work with it aligns with the ideals that I hold. They’re so precise and it’s that attention to detail in everything they do that it fits with what I believe in – precision, being on time, and again who they have partnered with – The Olympics, the PGA Championship, that feels right to me.
How will you embrace the rivalry with the up and coming young studs on the PGA Tour?
There’s always going to be a rivalry with the young guys – not just Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland but there are so many more guys that are coming out and earning status. Personally, I want to beat everyone, not just the young guys. For the rest of our lives, we’ll be the Class of 2019 and great friends but at the end of the day, we’re looking to beat everyone, not just the group of us that turned pro at the same time.
How does it feel to play at the PGA (an event that has been in partnership with OMEGA for a decade) while being an OMEGA ambassador?
Being an OMEGA ambassador at the PGA Championship, there’s an extra sense of pride of repping the brand at one of their events. The coolest thing was getting a watch as the winner of the tournament. Since my partnership with OMEGA began, I’ve really developed a love of watches, getting to see all the options and appreciate the craftsmanship. Being an ambassador and then getting the watch as the winner is the most special because I know that this one is a watch that no one else will ever have.
Going back to before you were on the PGA Tour, could you imagine yourself hoisting a major championship trophy at such a young age and early stage of your career?
I never really imagined a specific point in my career that I’d win a major but I knew it was possible. I knew I needed to put more work into my short game, into being prepared, and coming into that week, I knew I felt good and was ready to execute all the practice I had been doing into the game. To close it out the way I did, with all these guys close together fighting at the top of the leaderboard showed me a lot about myself.
Winning this early didn’t surprise me but it feels very nice to check the box of getting a major done early in my career because it opens doors for me. I know that I know how to win now and I know I have the ability to close it out so now I can prepare for the next one and keep move forward with that knowledge.
How do you maintain such impressive consistency on Tour and continue to make cut after cut?
The consistency comes from wanting to win every week. I treat every week as if it were the same regardless of the event – whether it’s a Tour event or a major or if I’m coming from an off day. I want to bring that same high level every time I’m competing which has been the driver behind my consistency. Everyone on Tour is so good and while my ball striking has kept me here, I have more work to do to keep the level of consistency up because being in contention every week is where I want to be.
Where do you go from here? What are the next goals for Collin Morikawa?
The next goal is just to win every week. I can’t get ahead of myself otherwise I’ll be focused on the future, not the present. Being in the moment is incredibly important and then working towards what’s immediately next which for me will be the events in Las Vegas. Getting prepped for a hometown event is how to I get ready to win again.
Collin Morikawa has a big career ahead of him at just 23 years old, and we’ll see what major championship he’ll be in the hunt for next. As he said, he’s clearly still hungry for more, and the Cal kid has an exciting 2021 season ahead of him.