As comparisons go, here is one that should never be put out there for public consumption: Any young golfer held up against Tiger Woods.
That thought came to mind when Collin Morikawa started his PGA TOUR career by making the cut in each of his first 22 tournaments. When he failed to qualify for weekend play at the Travelers Championship on June 26, it was noted how he had fallen short of another record achievement by Woods, who made the cut in his first 25 starts, back in 1996-97.
That, of course, got folks to comparing Morikawa’s first 22 tournaments to Woods’ first 22 because, well, there are no rules against silly and foolhardy.
That’s unfortunate for Morikawa, who is enjoying a very impressive start to his career but certainly doesn’t need the comparisons to Woods. Good gracious, what is it about “incomparable” – pretty much the word that defines Woods’ career – that people don’t understand?
Even when Morikawa bounced back from the missed cut at the Travelers to win the Workday Charity Open, it shouldn’t have invited a comparison. That’s two wins in 24 starts for the 23-year-old Morikawa, who has pushed to 13th in the Official World Golf Ranking and sixth in the FedExCup standings.
Quality stuff, but Woods reeled off six wins in his first 24 – yes, he won a quarter of his starts right out of the gates – and one of those triumphs was by 12 strokes at the Masters. Or was it 112 strokes? It’s so hard to keep track of his domination.
Like how in his 21st PGA TOUR start as a professional, Woods won the Motorola Western Open and was already No. 1 in the world.
Hence, why “incomparable” is affixed to all Woods accomplishments and should only be used side-by-side to those numbers belonging to Jack Nicklaus. Best to leave the kids out of the equation, OK?
More sensible would be a comparison of the first 24 PGA TOUR tournaments as a pro for Morikawa and Jordan Spieth. The are eerily similar, to wit:
Wins: Morikawa 2, Spieth 1.
Runner-ups: Morikawa 2, Spieth 3.
Top 10s: Morikawa 8, Spieth 9.
OWGR: Morikawa roared from No. 1,039 to No. 13 in just 24 starts. Spieth vaulted from No. 810 to 22nd.
At first glance, there’s little difference from the way these kids started. But from his 25th start on the PGA TOUR to his 113th, which came in his fifth full season, Spieth reeled off 10 wins and three legs of the career Grand Slam (2015 Masters, 2015 U.S. Open, 2017 Open Championship) as well as the 2015 FedExCup title.
Near-flawless as Morikawa’s game has been, uncanny as his maturity has shown, and as thick as the praise has been coming down from the TV towers, a lot of wise observers would agree with the odds and wager against the young man if offered this bet: Will he win 10 times over his next 89 PGA TOUR tournaments, capture three major championships, and get a stint as No. 1 in the OWGR?
Source: PGA tour