JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Collin Morikawa has hardly had a moment to stop, sit back and appreciate how far he’s come.
Since graduating from the University of California and making the jump to the PGA Tour, he made the weekend at Pebble Beach for the U.S. Open. He put together consecutive top-five finishes at the 3M Open and John Deere Classic. He broke through at the Barracuda Championship for his first tournament title, securing a Tour card for next season.
In those few months, Morikawa hasn’t looked back. That’s allowed the 22-year-old to keep his sights aimed forward, instead, leading him to The Northern Trust this week at Liberty National Golf Course for the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
“I’ve had zero time to even think about what’s happening,” Morikawa said. “And I think that’s what’s really cool.”
Morikawa doesn’t anticipate any time to reflect until the end of this season, which he hopes won’t be until after the Tour Championship. Still, Morikawa feels he’s learned plenty during his rookie season on tour.
“One big thing for me was having goals and putting aside expectations,” Morikawa said. “I’ve kind of kept narrowing down this plan that I’ve built up throughout my senior year of college of what I was going to do out here.”
For him, finding the balance between rest and practice has been critical. Morikawa doesn’t spend an hour or more “grinding” on the practice course after he finishes a round, instead turning in early. It’s a learning process he admitted will continue into next season, too, as he plays more courses and events.
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And Morikawa noted how important it is for him to hit fairways, setting up the rest of his approaches well. He’ll tee off at 8:16 a.m. Thursday for his first round at the Northern Trust.
As of Wednesday morning, Morikawa had seen nine holes at Liberty National, with its views of the Statue of Liberty and gusty winds off the Hudson River. He hopes looking forward, not back, will help him once again.
“I just want to keep this run going,” Morikawa said. “I want to be able to contend every single week I step out there.”