College Golf Report: After Cabo win, Collin Morikawa turns focus to API

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College Golf Report: After Cabo win, Collin Morikawa turns focus to API

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College Golf Report: After Cabo win, Collin Morikawa turns focus to API

Every Thursday in the spring, Golfweek will look back on the last week of college golf, highlighting team victories, individual titles and more.

Welcome to the College Golf Report, and here is what’s new for March 1-7:

• • •

Shortly after notching his second victory of the season, at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate, Cal junior Collin Morikawa posted a video of himself hitting a driver on the range at El Dorado Golf and Beach Club in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico. In the video, Morikawa was barefoot and wearing a backwards cap, button-up polo and board shorts.

When in Rome, right?

Sure, this week’s trip to the Baja California Peninsula was almost like a vacation for Morikawa and his fellow Bears. They arrived a couple of days early to soak up the experience of staying at a donor’s house at tony El Dorado.

“But we knew when time came it was all business,” Morikawa said.

While Cal finished runner-up to top-ranked Oklahoma State by eight shots at Querencia Golf Club, Morikawa battled friend and Cowboys freshman Matt Wolff down the stretch for the individual title. Morikawa, from La Canada Flintridge, Calif., grew up less than 45 minutes from Wolff, who is from Agoura Hills.

The two were tied at 9 under after 36 holes before Morikawa closed with a 7-under 64 to finish at 16 under, three shots ahead of Wolff, and break a school 54-hole record in the process.

“I’m just flabbergasted by his performance,” Cal head coach Walter Chun said. “Shooting 16 under is flat out incredible. He deserves every bit of his special moment.”

Morikawa’s victory moved him to second on the Haskins Award Watch List, behind only USC junior Justin Suh. It also figures to help him achieve other individual goals, including earning first-team All-American honors and winning the Hogan Award, which factors in amateur performances, too. (Morikawa won the Northeast Amateur last summer before advancing to the Round of 16 at the U.S. Amateur and going 4-0 at the Walker Cup.)

But none of that matters if he isn’t helping his team win.

“All the awards, it’s always a big honor to be up for them and to be on any watch lists and it would be great to win them; it’s definitely one of my goals to win all of those awards,” Morikawa said. “But at the end of the day, I’m on a team and what we’re looking for is a national championship, so whatever way we’re going to get that done, that’s the end goal.”

Morikawa said there’s a different feeling among he and his teammates this season. Much of that has to do with the return of K.K. Limbhasut and Sebastian Crampton, who both redshirted last season.

“There’s a different kind of atmosphere, different mood heading into each tournament,” Morikawa said. “We believe that we can win.”

Cal, ranked 12th by Golfweek but sure to rise after its runner-up in Cabo, will have about three weeks off before returning to action at Stanford’s event, The Goodwin, at the end of March. First, though, Morikawa will make his second career PGA Tour start, at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Morikawa, who lost in a playoff at the Web.com Tour’s Air Capital Classic in the summer of 2016, made his PGA Tour debut two falls ago at the 2016 Safeway Open. He missed the cut by three shots that week.

“Once you step into a PGA Tour tournament, it’s a little different setting,” Morikawa said. “I think mentally I’ve learned from that experience and I’ve drawn from that week at the Safeway to just be more prepared. It’s just another golf tournament. No matter what it is, at the end of the day we’re playing 18 holes.

“… It’s not like my game should be any different for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It’s just the atmosphere that’s going to create different things, but I think I’m ready – no, I know I’m ready – for next week and I just look forward to having a great week out there.”

Morikawa received the exemption after being voted on by his fellow competitors at last year’s Arnold Palmer Cup.

“The main reason why I’ll be there is because I was chosen to represent Arnold Palmer’s legacy and everything that he’s done for the game,” Morikawa said. “And I look forward to doing that.”

When in Rome.

• • •

Setting the curve

Notable team winners and individual champions from the past week

MEN

Auburn: The Tigers shot 25 under and won their host event, the Tiger Intercollegiate, by 25 shots over Georgia State on Tuesday. The victory marks the second straight of the season for Auburn.

Florida: With head coach J.C. Deacon back home awaiting the birth of his second daughter, the Gators shot 4 under in the final round of the Southern Highlands Collegiate on Wednesday and finished at 5 under to win by four shots over USC and Texas Tech.

Kansas: The Jayhawks picked up their first victory of the season with a 21-shot win over Purdue at the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate on Sunday.

Oklahoma State: Led by freshman Matt Wolff’s third runner-up finish of the season, college golf’s No. 1-ranked team won for the fifth time in six starts this season, capturing the Querencia Cabo Collegiate on Tuesday by eight shots over California. The Cowboys topped a field that included seven other top-20 teams, including No. 2 Vanderbilt (eighth) and No. 5 Baylor (10th).

Kyle Mueller, Michigan: The Wolverines senior won his second straight individual title by sharing medalist honors with teammate Charlie Pilon and San Diego’s Dalton Hankamer at the Desert Mountain Intercollegiate on Sunday.

Justin Suh, USC: The Trojans junior wins for the fourth time this season, posting an 8-under performance at the Southern Highlands Collegiate, four shots better than runner-up Harry Hall of UNLV.

WOMEN

Alabama: The top-ranked Crimson Tide won the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate on Sunday for the third straight year and the fifth time in seven seasons. Alabama, which shot 14 over to win by eight shots over Arkansas, has yet to finish worse than second in six starts this season with two wins.

Miami: The Hurricanes edged Oklahoma by three shots to win their home event, the Hurricane Invitational, on Wednesday.

UCLA: The Bruins recently lost their No. 1 ranking but did win their fifth tournament of the season by taking the Wildcat Invitational by nine shots over Arizona at 17 under.

Washington: The Huskies won the Meadow Club Women’s Intercollegiate by 10 shots over San Francisco, while also topping a field that included Colorado, Illinois and BYU.

Maria Fassi, Arkansas: The Razorbacks junior won her fourth individual title of season with a two-shot victory over Alabama’s Lauren Stephenson at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate on Sunday. The only other Arkansas women’s golfer to win four or more tournaments in a single season? Stacy Lewis.

Lilia Vu, UCLA: The Bruins junior won her fourth straight tournament of the season with a victory at the Wildcat Invitational. Vu, who broke Bronte Law’s school record with her eighth career individual title, shot a school-record 14-under 202 to win by three shots over teammate Mariel Galdiano.

• • •

Weekly honors

Standouts from the week that was in college golf

TEAMS OF THE WEEK

  • Men: Florida
  • Women: Alabama

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

  • Men: Collin Morikawa, Cal
  • Women: Maria Fassi, Arkansas

• • •

Ringler says

What Golfweek college golf expert Lance Ringler is talking about

• • •

Top of the class

Top-ranked teams and individuals in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings

NO. 1 TEAMS

  • Men: Oklahoma State
  • Women: Alabama

Full rankings: Team | Individual

NO. 1 INDIVIDUALS

  • Men: Justin Suh, USC
  • Women: Lilia Vu, UCLA

Full rankings: Team | Individual

• • •

Watch lists

Latest watch lists for the Haskins and ANNIKA awards

Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel

  1. Justin Suh, USC
  2. Collin Morikawa, Cal
  3. Doug Ghim, Texas
  4. Davis Riley, Alabama
  5. Norman Xiong, Oregon

Full list

ANNIKA Award presented by 3M

  1. Lilia Vu, UCLA
  2. Maria Fassi, Arkansas
  3. Andrea Lee, Stanford
  4. Lauren Stephenson, Alabama
  5. Olivia Mehaffey, Arizona State

Full list

• • •

Planning ahead

Upcoming tournaments of note in college golf

MEN

  • March 9-10: Border Olympics, Laredo, Texas
  • March 9-10: Jackrabbit Invitational, Boulder City, Nev.
  • March 9-11: Pinehurst Intercollegiate, Pinehurst, N.C.
  • March 10-11: General Hackler Championship, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

WOMEN

  • March 10-11: SunTrust Gator Women’s Invitational, Gainesville, Fla.

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