Collin Morikawa, the 23-year-old PGA Tour star, is gearing up to compete in the 2021 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. Despite past struggles at the course, Morikawa is confident in his ability to challenge for the title.
Morikawa, who turned pro in 2019, has quickly risen through the ranks of professional golf. He has already captured four PGA Tour titles, including the 2020 PGA Championship, which he won in dramatic fashion with a closing round of 64.
Despite his early success, Morikawa has struggled in his two previous appearances at the Players Championship. In 2020, he missed the cut after shooting 76-70 in the first two rounds. And in 2019, he finished in a tie for 64th place, shooting a combined score of 1-over-par.
However, Morikawa is not letting his past performances at TPC Sawgrass affect his mindset heading into this year’s tournament. In fact, he sees it as an opportunity to learn and grow as a player.
“I’ve played Sawgrass a few times now, and I’ve learned a lot from those experiences,” Morikawa said in a press conference ahead of the tournament. “I know what to expect, and I’m confident in my ability to play well there.”
One of the challenges of TPC Sawgrass is the infamous 17th hole, a par-3 island green that has become one of the most iconic holes in golf. Morikawa acknowledges that the 17th hole is difficult, but he’s not letting it intimidate him.
“The 17th is a tricky hole, but it’s just one of 18,” Morikawa said. “I’m prepared for it, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Morikawa’s game is built on accuracy and precision, which should serve him well at the Players Championship. He currently ranks first on the PGA Tour in Strokes Gained: Approach the Green, a statistic that measures a player’s performance on approach shots relative to the field average.
Morikawa’s ball-striking ability is one of his greatest strengths, and he’s confident that it will help him excel at TPC Sawgrass.
“I know that if I can hit my irons well and give myself chances, I’ll be in a good position,” Morikawa said. “I’m feeling good about my game, and I’m ready to go out there and compete.”
Morikawa is also known for his mental toughness, a trait that has served him well in high-pressure situations. He’s not easily rattled by bad shots or missed opportunities, and he’s always looking for ways to improve.
“I’m always trying to get better,” Morikawa said. “I’m always looking for ways to improve my game, whether it’s working on my swing or my mental approach. I’m never satisfied, and I’m always looking for ways to get better.”
Morikawa’s confidence and determination have already earned him respect from his peers on the PGA Tour. Many fellow players see him as a rising star who has the potential to dominate the sport for years to come.
“I’m a big fan of Collin’s game,” said fellow PGA Tour player Justin Thomas. “He’s got a ton of talent, and he’s shown that he’s not afraid to go out there and compete with the best players in the world. I think he’s going to do great things in this game.”
Despite his youth and relative inexperience, Morikawa is already one of the most talented players on the PGA Tour. And while TPC Sawgrass has given him trouble in the past, he’s not backing down from the challenge.
“I’m excited to get out there and compete,” Morikawa said. “I’m confident in my ability to play well, and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do.”