My Open picks from last week did not include Collin Morikawa. The golfer I thought should win and would be a virtual top 5 lock was Jon Rahm. Rahm ended up T3 and tonight will be tossing in bed replaying the number of makeable putts he missed. I had suggested that Brooks Koepka would win and despite a last round 65, he started the final round too far back and finished T6. Two of the golfers I suggested could win; Jordan Spieth and Louis Oosthuizen, finished 2nd and T3 respectively and both will leave the UK thinking they should have won.
There were four notable players I did not mention in my post. I did not think World number one Dustin Johnson was in good form coming in (but he can still make noise with his B game); I was not impressed with Bryson DeChambeau’s history in the Open (he had not made a cut); Rory McIlroy has not recently given me a good reason to believe and as great and impressive a player as Morikawa is, I just did not think anyone could reasonably be expected to win their first Open, let alone their first true links golf experience. I did not realize at the time that Morikawa was scheduled to play in the Scottish Open the week before – but still.
So, yes I underestimated Morikawa despite the fact he was number one in several categories including greens in regulation; SG: Tee to Green; and SG: Approach the Green. He was only ranked 176 in Scrambling, but clearly, he rarely needs to – scramble that is. He is presently one of the five players that should contend to win each major. I would include him with Rahm, Spieth, DJ, and Koepka. His iron play is Woodsian, he’s not a bomber, but hits it plenty long and straight and his putting (thought to be his weakness early on) has become a strength now that he has adopted the claw or saw grip for shorter efforts.
Is he the next great player on the PGA Tour? He certainly would be the betting favorite but there are just so many good players at the moment. But Morikawa appears to have that special thing that distinguishes the truly great from the very good golfer – he believes he should win and he’s not afraid to do so.
2 thoughts on “I underestimated Morikawa”
Tony – I’m friends with Lori and Kent. I think we met at 4th of July at Green Music Center. I live in Bennett Valley. I love playing golf in Ireland, 8 trips so far. I play in the US Am Tour events. Re: Morikawa – 6 months I started using the claw for short putts and regular grip for long putts. Morikawa must’ve been watching me. Going forward IMO the thing to watch for Morikawa will be his putting. Growing up, Morikawa had the advantage of not only good coaches, but a good mental coach. This video provides good details on his journey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkQAa6oBFsU&t=1324s&ab_channel=SCPGA
I remember you. Hope you are doing well. I too started using the claw from shorter distances and it has worked wonders for me as well. I will check out the video.
We are planning to spend the winter in CA – Covid-19 permitting – maybe we can get in a round or two.