A pair of top-25s at Narashino Country Club makes Collin Morikawa an enticing pick this week.
The American, who’s of Japanese descent, posted 71-64-69-70 to finish T-22nd in his ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP debut in 2019. In 2021, Morikawa shot 71-68-67-69 for T-7th.
“Greens are great. Fairways are really tightly cut, so you’re going to have to pay attention to where you hit it,” Morikawa was transcribed by Tee Scripts in 2021, “and some of the greens are playing pretty tricky so far.”
We last saw Morikawa compete at the Presidents Cup. He only teed it up in three sessions due to the Americans’ vast roster depth, but he made good use of his time going 2-1-0 and guiding debutant Cameron Young to victory in Thursday foursomes. The two lost the next time out, but Morikawa bounced back on Sunday with a 3-and-2 singles win over Mito Pereira.
It’s been surprising to see Morikawa miss out on the winner’s circle so far in 2022. He did win late in 2021 on the DP World Tour and has had a slew of high finishes this year, but things aren’t quite clicking like they were the previous few years.
Highlights from the year include fifth-place finishes at the Masters and U.S. Open as well as in the first FedEx Cup Playoffs event, the FedEx St. Jude Championship.
The 25-year-old didn’t lead the tour in strokes gained approach per round like he did in 2020-21, but he was still damn good with his irons. Morikawa was third (.854). He was also third in fairway proximity (28’2”) and first in approaches of 200-plus yards (43’1”).