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.
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.
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.
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.”
The Dads’ Committee is hosting the Palm Crest Golf and Tennis Open on Monday, April 23, to raise money for the school’s PTA STEAM projects — and 6th-grader Troy Parker is helping out.
To promote the tournament, Parker is up early every morning wearing his golf outfit, waving to drivers and passengers in the car line. His dad, Brian Parker, made four cutouts of Troy to put in front of Palm Crest families’ houses with an invitation to donate — and then move — to another family’s front yard.
“We are calling them the ‘Roaming Gnomes’ and if you get one you have been ‘gnomed’!” wrote Brian Parker in an email.
The “gnoming” will continue until April 21. The tournament, at La Cañada Country Club, is a daytime adult golf and tennis event, followed by a social hour, dinner and awards ceremony. For kids, dinner and a movie will be available at the club starting at 4 p.m.
For more information, visit birdeasepro.com/palmcrest.
The First Tee of Greater Pasadena recently welcomed injured veterans to the Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena to teach about the benefits of golf. Thirty-six men and women representing the Wounded Warrior Project participated in a morning that included brunch, golf clinics and camaraderie.
During the golf clinics the First Tee of Greater Pasadena coaches, volunteers and youth demonstrated how the First Tee programming has a positive impact on today’s youth. This event introduced the veterans to the youth programs offered by the First Tee of Greater Pasadena and volunteer opportunities available. Continue reading “Veterans Get Golf Lessons From First Tee of Pasadena”
La Cañada Flintridge native Collin Morikawa capped a remarkable summer with a momentous victory, helping Team USA defeat Great Britain and Ireland, 19-7, to reclaim the prestigious Walker Cup this weekend at the Los Angeles Country Club.
“It’s the biggest honor to be on the USA team and represent my country the entire week,” said Morikawa, who was one of 10 American amateurs selected to take on their counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland. “We lost two years ago and the main goal was to win, no matter what it takes. I’m just really proud of this team.” Continue reading “LCF Golfer Makes History in Walker Cup Win”
Victoria Morgan has never had it easy in her golf career. At Polytechnic, the Pasadena native fought for a spot on the varsity boys’ golf team because the school did not have a girls’ program at the time. The former Panther prevailed and was named captain and the team’s most valuable player as a senior in 2012.
Morgan continued to play collegiately at USC as a walk-on and battled to keep her spot on a talented squad. She helped the Trojans reach the NCAA Championships semifinals last spring as a senior and was selected to the All-Pac-12 first team and earned a WGCA All-American honorable mention.
The struggle continues for the former Panther, who will be competing in her ninth Symetra Tour tournament today in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Morgan is fighting for the opportunity to join the LPGA Tour. Continue reading “Former Polytechnic Golfer Competing in Professional Tour”
Former La Cañada High School golfer Collin Morikawa helped the United States defeat Europe, 19 1/2-11 1/2, to reclaim the Arnold Palmer Cup last Sunday at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga.
Morikawa contributed a few points to the U.S. squad by winning two of four matches.
“It’s just a big honor,” said Morikawa, who is one of the top collegiate golfers at Cal. “This is the first time Mr. Palmer couldn’t be there with us. It’s such a great honor to represent the country and Mr. Palmer. I feel like I didn’t have my best out there, but it was all about keeping the spirits high and keeping the legacy of Mr. Palmer living and representing the nation as best as we can. We were able to win and make history, and it was great to be a part of that.” Continue reading “LC’s Morikawa Helps U.S. Win Arnold Palmer Cup”
History repeats for the La Cañada High School varsity boys’ golf team as it defeated Temple City, 199-215, at Eaton Canyon Golf Course to claim a share of the Rio Hondo League crown on Tuesday.
First-year head coach Derrick Williams has guided the Spartans to a perfect 8-0 record (6-0 in league) so far with two more regular season contests remaining. La Cañada, which has won 13 consecutive Rio Hondo League championships, has defeated every league opponent, as well as Valencia and St. Francis.
The squad includes Matt Choi, Dylan Choi, Jason Del Fierro, John Hickman, Christian Kim, Maxwell Kinsel, Andrew Koerber, Brendon Paek, Nicolas Perez, Andrew Ricci, Jay Singh, Clyde Toland and Eduardo Torres.
The Spartans will host Monrovia in a league match on Tuesday, April 25, at 3 p.m.