Collin Morikawa is teeing it up for the first time this fall.
We likely won’t see him much until 2024, but the Zozo Championship is one he anticipates playing as long as he can.
Morikawa is American-born but of Japanese heritage. He relishes the opportunity to play where his family’s lineage lies.
“In the few times that I’ve visited Japan, I’ve really enjoyed the experience of being over there as the Japanese people love their golf and support the game in a very big way,” Morikawa was quoted in 2021 by the PGA Tour. “I’m looking forward to going over again and challenging for a win which would be a really nice way to get the new 2021-22 PGA Tour season started.”
Morikawa will look to get some good vibes going after a disappointing Ryder Cup. He went 1-3-0 as USA languished in another road defeat.
It was a tough week for everyone in the red, white, and blue, so it’s tough to assign a ton of blame to Morikawa, specifically. His playing partners didn’t always do him favors.
His last competitive reps individually came at the Tour Championship. Morikawa played well at East Lake by posting a gross score that tied for fourth best and resulted in a T-6th finish in the FedEx Cup.
The former Cal Golden Bear is making his fourth start at Narashino. He’s got two top-25s, including T-7th (71-68-67-69) in 2021.
It’s a shame Morikawa hasn’t won since his final-round debacle at the Sentry Tournament of Champions to open 2023.
I expect him to be motivated to peel off a win before the year is in the books.
The 26-year-old was fourth on the PGA Tour last season in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (1.547 per round) and second in SG: Approach-the-Green (1.012).
The knock on Morikawa is he isn’t super long. That’s not a huge issue here. It’s about controlling your ball to navigate the tree-lined fairways and hit it into small targets on the greens.
Morikawa’s got that skill set.