The tough thing about coming out as hot as Collin Morikawa did in 2020, when he notched four wins in the span of about a year — including two majors! — is that expectations then went through the roof.
When Morikawa failed to win a PGA Tour event last year, the season was an understandable disappointment for him. So, he went back to the drawing board. The 25-year-old started a big-time overhaul of his game in the fall, adding short game and putting specialists to his coaching stable.
Things seem to be going well thus far, as Morikawa holds a two-shot lead at the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions halfway point. And with the trials of 2022 in the rearview mirror, Morikawa was asked for a reflection on the most disappointing part of his winless year.
“My attitude,” he said. “It just got, it was very frustrating. It’s hard not to be frustrated, right? You think you’re playing well — exactly, it’s golf. But to know that you have it in you and you know you’ve been able to close it out and been able to play well, and I started the year off all right and then just kind of after Players, it kind of went on a little downhill climb.
“It sucks. It was tough,” he continued. “But it’s golf and I’ve kind of learned from it. You just look at it at a different perspective and just realize, look, it’s going to happen. You just dig yourself out of it and learn and get better from it. And if I didn’t get better from it and I didn’t push myself to work a little harder and motivate myself in certain ways to know where I want to be and set my goals, then there’s no reason to be frustrated. But it was frustrating because I know where I want to be.”
Morikawa was as high as No. 2 in the world at one point. Now, he’s No. 11 — and motivated to close that gap once more.
“I’ve got to work hard,” he said. “Sometimes maybe you do have to be out there, seven, eight, nine, ten hours if you want to be where we think ourselves — set our goals. And it’s just been that extra little effort of just watching myself and like I said yesterday, checking those boxes of simply doing the right things and doing the things that are needed to get back out there.”
Morikawa certainly seems to be on the right track. He tees off alongside Scottie Scheffler at 3:45 p.m. ET for Saturday’s third round.