Collin Morikawa wants to make history. Remembering it, however, is a different story.
Morikawa won two majors, the PGA Championship and The Open, prior to turning 25. He’s the third-ranked player in the world and he’s going for the third leg of the career Grand Slam this week at the Masters Tournament.
His name, because of his accomplishments at such a young age, gets mentioned with the likes of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus. He’s well aware of where he stands in the game and what others have accomplished before him – in general.
Morikawa was in the Augusta National press building on Monday and was asked what his first Masters memory was and he responded, like many before him, Woods’ win in 1997. Morikawa was 2 months old at the time.
So, replays aside, it’s the 2019 Masters that really stands out in Morikawa’s mind.
Full-field tee times from the 86th Masters Tournament
“We were sitting all together; we were watching it. I mean, that Sunday was booked out to do nothing other than watch TV,” Morikawa said of watching the ’19 Masters in a rented house with his Cal teammates.
“And that’s like really special, because normally I’ll watch with the parents – be home on a Sunday, and you watch the late half of the back nine, even a little bit parts of the beginning, but you just have it on. I’m not really zoned in on focusing on every shot [usually], but 2019 was where we were all just glued to the couch and glued to the TV.”
Woods’ fifth Masters triumph was memorable for Morikawa, but he’s not one to detail other iconic moments, even when they involve friends. Mark O’Meara, who has helped Morikawa with his putting, won the 1998 Masters by making a 20-foot birdie on the 72nd hole. Surely, Morikawa was familiar with that.
“[Q]uick story: We were on 18 today, and J.J. [Spaun] is like, ‘Oh, you want to hit Mark’s putt?’ And I’m like, ‘Mark O’Meara’s putt?’” Morikawa relayed.
“I saw him last week and I talked to him a bunch, and he’s been a great friend and someone I can just talk to about golf. And I was like, ‘What putt?’ I had no clue which putt he had to win the Masters. So, [Spaun] drops the ball, and he’s like, ‘Oh, I thought you would have known.’ I was like, ‘No, I have zero clue.’
“As it comes to those things, I mean, I had to ask J.J. today on 10. I was like, ‘Did Adam Scott – like the putt we always see Adam Scott win [in a 2013 playoff], was that on 10 or 18?’”
It was on the 10th, for the record.
“I’ll say it again, history of golf kind of goes in one ear, comes out the other,” Morikawa said, “goes in the eyes, exits somewhere.”
Unless, of course, he’s the one making it.