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Collin Morikawa the Open

‘It’s going to happen’ for Collin Morikawa, but will that be at the Open?

It has been a tough two years for Collin Morikawa. He has not won since lifting the Claret Jug in 2021. Could that change this week at Royal Liverpool?

 

Two years on from Collin Morikawa’s Open Championship success, the American is yet to go close at another major. Is this the week ‘it’s going to come’?

Two weeks ago, Morikawa came close to winning on Tour once again. He lost out in a playoff to Rickie Fowler at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, as Fowler secured his first win on the PGA Tour in more than four years.

It was Morikawa’s second runner-up finish of the year, after seeing Jon Rahm come from behind to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions. The American believes that it is only a matter of time before he gets that elusive victory.

“Being in contention two weeks ago was the best feeling, walking down those last nine holes, it felt like it was just back to normal. It didn’t feel like it was out of the norm. It just felt like, man, we’re here to make birdies, we’re here to win the tournament. The playoff didn’t go the way I wanted, but it just felt comfortable.

“To know that that’s still there, that’s the best feeling. Yes, absolutely I do want to be back on top. I know it’s going to come. I don’t know when. Hopefully this week. But it’s going to happen. It’s just putting everything together, hitting the right shots, and like I said earlier, having things go your way, so hopefully it’s this week.”

Morikawa lifted the Claret Jug in 2021 thanks to a stunning victory in the sunshine at Royal St. George’s. Winning two of his first eight major championships set a new post-war record, and it looked like the world was at his feet.

He won the DP World Championship Dubai at the end of the season, but since then, it has been a struggle for the American. Just two top tens in majors and a couple of runner-up finishes have come for the former World No 2.

“I would love a big week. Obviously, the goal is to win. That’s what it is every week,” Morikawa said earlier in his press conference.

“[The] Ryder Cup is obviously a huge goal of mine and has been for the past two years, especially turning into the beginning of this year, and it still is. That’s a really big goal of mine. But winning takes care of everything.

“I would say the last two years have been interesting, not the way I would have guessed it would have gone two years ago, but that’s golf and that’s life. You really don’t know what to expect. It’s really about learning and truly learning about it.

“To really realise the steps that I took, would I have changed anything, would I have done anything different? Maybe a couple things, but it’s all about putting that game plan together, refining things, knowing what you’re going to do, and I think I’ve kind of done that and gotten better.”

Collin Morikawa the Open

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Collin Morikawa: The Open is a chance to return to the top

For the opening two rounds at Royal Liverpool, Morikawa will be paired up with compatriot Max Homa and England’s Tyrrell Hatton.

The 2021 Open champion believes that it is one of the best groups that he has been part of.

“This might be one of my favourite pairings that I have ever had. Max, obviously, I have gotten close with him and I call him a really good friend,” Morikawa said about his group for the first two days

“He is obviously a lot of fun to play well, but Tyrrell… When people ask me who I like to play with, I say his name because it is entertaining.

“It is enjoyable but there is no hate against you, he doesn’t disrupt you, he doesn’t slow you down. We are fast players. His caddie, Mick, is also incredible. We were literally talking about it 20 minutes ago, me and my caddie.

“It truly is one of the best pairings I could ask for. I enjoy it, he is a lot of fun. He is never really that negative and he will talk to you at any point, even if he is mad. We have seen a lot of those moments but he is a really good guy. He has a good time, but he is a professional, in terms of respecting his playing partners, for sure.”

It will feel like a long time for Morikawa since he lifted the Claret Jug two years ago at Royal St George’s, when he referred to the tournament at the British Open.

It was a bit of a faux pas at the time, but if you win it, who cares right?

“I definitely called it the British Open the year I won and people gave me hate for it,” he said.

Collin Morikawa the Open

“Then I called it the Open last year, but I played better when I called it the British Open so I might keep calling it the British Open.

“Obviously, the British… I am not too good with this whole geography, world stuff. I think people understand whether you say British Open or the Open.

“At the end of the day, if you win it, you can call it whatever the hell you want!”

NOW READ: Everything you need to know about the 151st Open

Can we see Collin Morikawa: The Open winner again? Let us know your thoughts on X!

Matt Coles

Matt Coles

Mention a European country, and Matt will tell you which resorts make the National Club Golfer Top 100s: European Resorts list. He might even throw in who designed the golf course and how many rooms the hotel has got at each one…

Matt got into the game of golf from a young age, following his old man to the local golf club. He fell for the sport, and now can’t seem to go a day without thinking about how to improve his game (Thanks Dad!). Matt has been a member of Howley Hall GC in Leeds since 2020, and is just about managing to maintain a single-figure handicap. He likes to remind people that he once broke 75, but won’t tell people that it was on a shortened course during the winter.

He moved to Leeds after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class Honours degree in Sports Journalism. Matt joined NCG after almost five years travelling the world with the Professional Squash Association, working on events in all four corners of the globe.

Matt currently plays a Cobra King LTDx driver and RadSpeed 3-wood. TaylorMade monopolise the rest of his bag, with a SIM UDI, M5 irons and both Milled Grind and HI-TOE wedges, along with a Monza Redline putter. He uses a Vice Pro Plus golf ball, because he’s a bit different…

Away from golf, Matt is a Manchester United fan, and a keen runner, having ran the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon (his first and possibly last), in May 2023.

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