Collin Morikawa surprisingly candid about fan support at PGA Championship

Collin Morikawa reacts to a missed putt during the final round of the 2024 PGA Championship.

Collin Morikawa reacts to a missed putt during the final round of the 2024 PGA Championship.

Getty Images

On the 18th green during the final round of the 2024 PGA Championship, Collin Morikawa finally saw a putt drop. Facing a birdie look of just under 10 feet, Morikawa rolled it in but showed little emotion. It had been a long, frustrating day; that birdie on the par-5 18th was his only of the day.

As playing partner Xander Schauffele went low, shooting 65 to win his first major title, Morikawa couldn’t get anything going himself.

The two-time major champ started the day tied for the lead with Schauffele, but Morikawa opened with 14 straight pars and a bunch of putts that skirted the hole. He made bogey on 15 and then two more pars on 16 and 17 before his birdie on 18. He shot even par and tied for fourth.

It was Morikawa’s second straight top-five finish in a major, but that was of little consolation at the time.

“Obviously the putter went cold on me,” he said. “The putter kept me in this tournament, and it just disappeared today.”

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Morikawa hit 16 greens in regulation on Sunday — his most of the week — but ranked 76th in strokes gained: putting and made just 35 feet, 2 inches worth of putts in his final round. On Thursday, when he shot 66, he made more than three times that number (117 feet, 4 inches).

Ask what he was missing Sunday, he didn’t pinpoint one specific part of this game: “Everything,” he said.

“Look, to win a major championship, you’ve got to have your solid golf game,” Morikawa continued. “People talk about winning with their B game, C game, A game. Felt like even though I’ve been putting the results together, it still feels like I’m playing with a C to B game. I wouldn’t say I’m faking it. I’m grinding and I’m putting together a score, and that’s what you can ask. But if I want to be able to close out the last two, just got to be a little bit sharper, and it’s just not there.”

Some of Morikawa’s most interesting comments, however, came on Saturday. He and Schauffele were the betting favorites to close it out on Sunday, although some might have considered Morikawa the front-runner, simply because he’s already won two majors. Schauffele hadn’t.

Morikawa won his first with no fans on-site at the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park, and his next one came less than a year later at the Open Championship. But since that Open triumph in July 2021, he’s won just one other time, at the 2023 Zozo Championship, which might not have even registered with many American fans because the tournament takes place in Japan in October.

On Saturday, Morikawa was asked if the last couple of years have been “less crazy” compared to early in his career when he checked off two majors so quickly. “Do you feel like people have forgotten about you?” he was asked.

A surprisingly candid answer followed.

“Frankly, yes,” he said. “It’s nice to have people root for you, and I feel like people aren’t rooting for me out here. They like a good story. Xander hasn’t won [a major], other guys, whatever it may be. But, you know, I [couldn’t] care less.”

Collin Morikawa congratulations Xander Schauffele was he won the PGA Championship.
Collin Morikawa congratulates Xander Schauffele on the 18th green on Sunday. Getty Images

He may be a few years removed from his last win on U.S. soil, but it’s not like Morikawa flies under the radar; he says he gets recognized in Las Vegas, where he lives. (“There’s a lot of people [in Vegas] who like sports,” he said. “A lot of people who like sports. I get recognized. I do get recognized.”) But it’s rare to hear a pro so bluntly say the fans weren’t rooting for him. It brought to mind comments many pros have said over the years during Tiger Woods’ prime. They weren’t only battling Woods, they said, but also the diehard Tiger fans in the galleries as well.

To be clear, Morikawa never said fans were rooting against him, but the PGA crowd did seem to favor Bryson DeChambeau, who played two pairings behind Schauffele and Morikawa.

Regardless of the finish, Morikawa said he was happy for Schauffele. They know each other well and played together nearly every day when Schauffele used to live in Las Vegas. They’ve been on Presidents Cup teams together. Ryder Cup teams. Now, Schauffle’s win puts him in that major-winner’s club.

“He’s one of the best players in the world,” Morikawa said. “Today was exactly all that put into one. He knew what he had to make on 18, and that’s what great players do.”

This was the second straight major Morikawa was in contention. At the Masters he trailed Scottie Scheffler by one entering the final round, played with Scheffler in the final pairing and was tied for the lead through seven holes. But Morikawa ran into bunker trouble on the par-4 9th green, made double bogey and then made another double on 11. He tied for third.

“This season, I think after all the stuff, I don’t have to focus and press on [qualifying for the] FedExCup,” he said Sunday. “I can just focus on trying to win here. I think the way points are going and everything, we’re going to be just fine. You just want to win. We’ve got two more majors. These first two have been disappointing, but there can still be a positive outlook. I’m going to have to just figure out how to be better.”

Josh Berhow Editor

As’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at

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