While there were no fans to cheer on the inaugural PGA Championship winner – with just a few cheers and applause from those in attendance after his winning eagle putt on the 16th hole – Morikawa’s victory sent waves. shock in the golf course. But, according to the American golfer himself, this is only the beginning.
“The majors are going to be surrounded, like everyone else, but I have to focus on every week. I try to win every week. I’m not trying to go out and win the majors. I’m 23. is my first full year.
“I love golf. I love every round. I love being in that position and I just love being able to come out here and play with a bunch of guys who love the sport too.”
‘It was crazy’
Just 15 months ago, Morikawa was still in college. Just 14 months ago, he made his professional debut.
Even before turning pro, he had had a successful amateur career, spending time as the top player in the world amateur golf rankings.
Since returning from the hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, he has been in scorching form. He finished second in the Charles Schwab Challenge in June before winning the Workday Charity Open last month.
Morikawa now has three PGA Tour wins in just 29 starts. Remarkably, he has more wins than lost cups.
With a Californian boy playing in a California major, in a typical major, the 16th hole would normally be lined with fans cheering on the hometown favorite.
But due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there were only a few stewards, marshals and other players to watch him sink his winning putt, which was the only shock absorber for Morikawa.
“It’s the only time I really wish there were crowds out there,” Morikawa said.
Entering the PGA Championship, Morikawa was No. 12 in the world. Now he’s ranked fifth in the world with a chance to move up to number one at the Northern Trust in Massachusetts in two weeks.
At the age of 23, 6 months, 3 days, Morikawa became the third youngest PGA Championship winner since World War II, behind only Rory McIlroy and Jack Nicklaus. But comparisons to Woods – who also won the competition at 23 – are far-fetched at the moment, according to Morikawa.
“It’s a great company. It’s been crazy, because the whole early part of my professional career I see everything that compares to Tiger… but Tiger is on a whole different level. I think we know that. all, ”Morikawa said.
“But every time you’re in the conversation of the greats, Jack, Rory, Tiger, whoever it is, if you’re in this conversation, you’re doing something right.”
Not all perfect
He is only the ninth player to win the PGA Championship in his debut.
While his performance on the course left little to criticize, Morikawa’s trophy recovery still had a long way to go.
As he hoisted the Wanamaker Trophy into the air, the lid slipped, much to the delight of the few onlookers watching and Morikawa himself.
But while his trophy lifting might suggest he was unprepared for the situation, Morikawa says he feels “comfortable” in the habit of winning.
“I believed in myself from day one. I didn’t let go,” he said.
“When I woke up today, I was like, it’s supposed to be. This is where I feel very comfortable. This is where I want to be, and I don’t have one. not afraid. I think if I was afraid the last holes would have been a little different. “
Following his victory, in addition to becoming No. 5 in the world, he moved up to second in the FedExCup ranking. With the FedExCup playoffs fast approaching and six majors over the next 11 months, the already rising star of Morikawa may just begin his meteoric rise.