Morikawa Helps U.S. Beat Europe, Win Ryder Cup

First published in the Oct. 2 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

Collin Morikawa hoisted yet another prestigious trophy in the professional golf world on Sunday. The 24-year-old phenom, a La Cañada High School graduate who often trained at Chevy Chase Country Club, was part of a historic U.S. team that defeated Europe, 19-9, to claim the Ryder Cup in a dominant performance at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Morikawa secured the win when he birdied the 17th hole in singles play against Norwegian Viktor Hovland, the No. 14-ranked golfer in the world, for half of a point. He tied with Hovland and finished unbeaten in his first appearance in the Ryder Cup with a 3-0-1 record, including three victories in doubles competition alongside Dustin Johnson.
Continue reading “Morikawa Helps U.S. Beat Europe, Win Ryder Cup”

Morikawa Helps U.S. Beat Europe, Win Ryder Cup

First published in the Sept. 30 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.

Collin Morikawa hoisted yet another prestigious trophy in the professional golf world on Sunday. The 24-year-old phenom, a La Cañada Flintridge native, was part of a historic U.S. team that defeated Europe, 19-9, to claim the Ryder Cup in a dominant performance at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Morikawa secured the win when he birdied the 17th hole in singles play against Norwegian Viktor Hovland, the No. 14-ranked golfer in the world, for half of a point. He tied with Hovland and finished unbeaten in his first appearance in the Ryder Cup with a 3-0-1 record, including three victories in doubles competition alongside Dustin Johnson.
Continue reading “Morikawa Helps U.S. Beat Europe, Win Ryder Cup”

Morikawa Fired Up by Stint in Olympics

La Cañada Flintridge native Collin Morikawa represented the U.S. at the Tokyo Olympics, placing fourth in the men’s golf competition after being defeated by C.T. Pan of Chinese Taipei in a sudden-death playoff for the bronze medal. ( Photo courtesy PGA Tour / Getty Images)

Collin Morikawa entered the Tokyo Olympics as the champion golfer of the year, a title given to the winner of the prestigious Open Championship, and was one stroke shy of leaving Japan as a medalist in the Games.

The La Cañada High School graduate — who seemed to be out of medal contention when he was tied for 24th after two rounds of play — rallied in the final round Sunday, shooting 8 under par to finish regulation at 15 under. That left him tied for third with Rory McIlroy and five other golfers to compete in a sudden-death playoff for the bronze medal at Kasumigaseki Country Club.

Continue reading “Morikawa Fired Up by Stint in Olympics”

Morikawa’s Journey From Chevy Chase to Golf Stardom

Golfer Collin Morikawa, who grew up in the area and practiced at Chevy Chase Country Club, is in Tokyo competing in the Olympics. He visited Chevy Chase last year and met with members to talk about the course and his approach on each hole.

Collin Morikawa opened the PGA Tour season as one of the most promising golfers in the world, having won three competitions in his first year as a professional, including the PGA Championship last August.

In the 11 months since then, Morikawa — a native of La Cañada Flintridge who grew up playing at Glendale’s Chevy Chase Country Club — has cemented himself as more of a blossoming legend than a mere phenom by winning the WGC-Workday Championship and, most recently, representing the U.S. in the Olympics and capturing his second major title.

Continue reading “Morikawa’s Journey From Chevy Chase to Golf Stardom”

Morikawa Savors Selection to Olympic Team

Collin Morikawa, who grew up in La Cañada Flintridge, will be one of the four male golfers representing the U.S. in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. He is the youngest player in the quartet and qualified by being ranked No. 4 in the world. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Former La Cañada High School standout Collin Morikawa impressed the golf world by making the cut in his first 22 tournaments as a pro, falling just short of tying living legend Tiger Woods, who set the record with 25.

The trend continues for Morikawa, who recently made the cut to become one of four golfers to represent the United States in the Summer Olympics this month in Tokyo. He is the first LCHS graduate to compete in the Olympics since 2014, when Kate Hansen joined the U.S. luge team in the Winter Games at Sochi, Russia.

“It’s amazing, one of the best honors I’m going to be able to have in my life,” Morikawa said recently on the Barstool Sports Fore Play podcast. “Even though we can’t do a lot of things [because] we kind of got to stay in this bubble [due to COVID-19], you can’t take it away from me. I’m an Olympian; I’m going to be an Olympian for life and that’s going to be really cool.”

The selection of players is determined by the Olympic Golf Rankings, which are similar to the Official World Golf Ranking, and each country is allowed a maximum of four athletes. Sixty players from 35 countries will compete individually in the men’s competition, which was originally to be held in summer 2020 but postponed, along with the rest of the Games, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Joining the four-time Rio Hondo League champion will be Justin Thomas (ranked No. 3 in the world), Xander Schauffele (No. 5) and Bryson DeChambeau (No. 6). Dustin Johnson, the top-ranked player in the U.S. and No. 2 in the world, declined the invitation to participate in the Olympics due to the lengthy travel and his commitment to play PGA Tour tournaments.

At 24, Morikawa, ranked No. 4 in the world, will be the youngest male golfer representing the U.S. in Tokyo. The first round of competition is scheduled to be played at Kasumigaseki Country Club on Thursday, July 29.

BRADENTON, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 28: Collin Morikawa of the United States celebrates winning on the 18th green during the final round of World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession on February 28, 2021 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Golf returned to the Olympics in 2016 after a 112-year absence.

“We are thrilled to welcome these world-class players to Team USA and excited to watch them compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” Rick Adams, U.S. Olympics and Paralympics Committee chief of sport performance, said in a recent statement. “The return of golf to the Olympic program in [Rio de Janeiro] was a highlight of the Games, and the golf competition in Tokyo will be no different.”

Morikawa, who graduated from Cal in 2018 and LCHS in 2014, clinched a spot on the U.S. team after tying for fourth place with Brooks Koepka in the U.S. Open on June 20. The former Pac-12 Conference player of the year has won four PGA Tour competitions, including a major title last year when he edged Paul Casey and Johnson by two strokes to win the PGA Championship.

Collin Morikawa is the first La Cañada High School graduate to compete in the Olympics since Kate Hansen, who was a member of the U.S. luge team in the Sochi Winter Games in Russia in 2014. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The young star has one simple goal in mind.

“Obviously, we’re there to win gold,” Morikawa said. “We’re playing individually, but I’m still playing for Team USA. You want to add another gold medal to that tally at the end of the Olympics. I’m going to feel like I’m playing for Team USA even though it still is an individual medal race.

“Man, it gives me chills thinking about it because you just joined another elite group of people. It’s another milestone that you can put on your career and just look back on and be like, ‘Man, I was there. I was playing in the Olympics.’”

Morikawa joined Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” on June 24 to announce that he would be representing the U.S. in the Olympics.

“I mean, two years ago I was an amateur,” he said in front of a live studio audience. “Look at us now. Now we’re trying to win gold.”

Former Spartan Wins Golf Title and $1.98 Million

Photo courtesy PGA Championship
Collin Morikawa, a 2015 La Cañada High School graduate, scored the biggest victory of his young career by claiming the PGA Championship last Sunday. It marked his third tour win since turning pro in July 2019.

Collin Morikawa officially cemented himself as one of the top professional golfers in the world last Sunday by claiming the PGA Championship, the first major title of his career.
The La Cañada Flintridge native finished 13-under par to earn his third PGA Tour victory since turning pro in July 2019. Benefits from a PGA Championship include total prize money of $1.98 million, lifetime exemption into the tournament and five-year exemptions into the Masters, U.S. Open, The Open and PGA Tour.
“It’s amazing. It’s been a life goal, obviously, as a little kid to kind of watch everyone grow up, all these professionals,” Morikawa told CBS sportscaster Jim Nantz after the win. “And this is what I always wanted to do.”
Morikawa, who graduated from La Cañada High School in 2015, shot up to No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings and is currently fifth in the official world golf ranking behind Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson. At 23 years, six months and three days, he became the third-youngest player since World War II to win the tournament behind legend Jack Nicklaus and McIlroy.

Continue reading “Former Spartan Wins Golf Title and $1.98 Million”

LCHS Grad Morikawa Wins Golf Tournament, $1.1 Million

Photos courtesy Gregory Shamus / Getty Images
Former La Cañada High School star Collin Morikawa picked up his second career PGA Tour victory by edging out Justin Thomas in a three-hole playoff at the Workday Charity Open in Ohio on Sunday.

Two weeks removed from missing the cut for the first time in his PGA Tour career, Collin Morikawa was ready to pick himself up in the Workday Charity Open at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.
“We’ve got a few more weeks left of the full regular season until the playoffs, and after that missed cut, I learned a lot,” he said. “I came out fresh, I had a nice week off, and I’m ready. I’m ready to compete with these guys.”
The La Cañada High School graduate proved he wasn’t fazed by his previous struggles and rallied to defeat Justin Thomas after three playoff holes on Sunday. Morikawa, who had lost a playoff one month ago, claimed his second PGA Tour championship with a par on the final hole.
Continue reading “LCHS Grad Morikawa Wins Golf Tournament, $1.1 Million”

Morikawa Eager to Get Pro Sports Back on Course

Photo courtesy PGA Tour
Golf professional Collin Morikawa, who graduated from La Cañada High School in 2015, plans on competing in the PGA Tour’s first tournament since March, which is scheduled for June 11.

With most of the country following stay-at-home ordinances for more than two months, people are looking for some semblance of normalcy and professional golfer Collin Morikawa is ready to deliver it.
The PGA Tour is scheduled to restart its season with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, on June 11, and the La Cañada High School graduate will be one of more than 120 golfers to compete in the tournament.
“I’ll be there at Colonial [Country Club],” said Morikawa, who was a member of the LCHS class of 2015. “We have the opportunity to be one of the first [athletes] back.”
Professional golfers were assured that PGA Tour officials would adhere to strict health guidelines such as having no fans present and providing extra space for athletes and caddies when they travel.
“Things to keep in mind as we go through all of this is it’s really a layered approach that we’ve taken, and the heart of it is social distancing,” Tour Senior Vice President and Chief of Operations Tyler Dennis recently told reporters in a conference call. “ … We’re excited about how the PGA Tour can play a role here in the world’s return, if you will, enjoying things we love and doing so in a responsible manner.”
Continue reading “Morikawa Eager to Get Pro Sports Back on Course”

Morikawa’s Success Continues in Pro Competition

Collin Morikawa
Collin Morikawa

La Cañada High School graduate Collin Morikawa closed out his four-year collegiate career at Cal as one of the program’s all-time best golfers.
He became the second Bear to win the Pac-12 Player of the Year honor after claiming the individual conference title. The former Spartan was also named a Division I PING first-team All-American, becoming the first four-time All-American golfer in the program’s history. Morikawa tied for sixth place in the NCAA Championships and helped his team finish 10th at Blessings Golf Club in Arkansas. He was third in the nation with a 68.65 stroke average, ranked as the No. 3 collegiate golfer by Golfstat and a finalist for the Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award. Continue reading “Morikawa’s Success Continues in Pro Competition”

Former Spartan Wins Pac-12 Championship

Former LCHS standout Collin Morikawa won the Pac-12 title for the first time in his career at Cal.
Photo courtesy Cal Athletics
Former LCHS standout Collin Morikawa won the Pac-12 title for the first time in his career at Cal.

La Cañada Flintridge native Collin Morikawa has garnered many accolades the past four years at Cal Berkley. The standout athlete has been named Golfweek Men’s National Player of the Year, the team’s most valuable player, made the All-Nicklaus Team twice and represented the U.S. in the prestigious Walker Cup.
He had many goals since arriving at Cal four years ago but the Pac-12 crown eluded him. Morikawa can now cross that feat off his list as the senior finished the competition with three consecutive birdies to claim the individual conference title. Continue reading “Former Spartan Wins Pac-12 Championship”