Collin Morikawa once again finds himself in the unfamiliar position of trying to bounce back from a missed cut.
Morikawa turned heads when he began his pro career by making 22 cuts in a row, and he gained even more attention in August when he won the PGA Championship in just his second major start. But the 23-year-old made an early exit last month at Winged Foot, and he enters this week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open having missed two of four cuts since his breakthrough at TPC Harding Park.
“I think the U.S. Open was kind of a wake-up call,” said Morikawa, who shot 76-71 at Winged Foot. “Obviously missing the cut, getting a couple weeks off to kind of refresh, put the clubs away for a week. What really kind of popped up in my head was what I was doing really well last summer, the summer I came out when I turned pro, what did I do well in college, and kind of go back to those things.”
Morikawa has his first chance to go back to the well at TPC Summerlin, which the Las Vegas resident estimates is an eight-minute drive from his house. While he usually practices at other area facilities when home, he has spent more time at Summerlin over the last two weeks to prep for this event.
Morikawa has also begun to plan for next month’s Masters, working on a few new shots that he expects to need for the year’s final major. But before he drives down Magnolia Lane for the first time, he’s excited about the prospect of another Las Vegas stop next week at Shadow Creek for the relocated CJ Cup, along with a trip west to his native California for the Zozo Championship later this month.
“I can’t get ahead of myself. If I start thinking about (Augusta) these next three West Coast weeks, they’re going to go by in the blink of an eye,” Morikawa said. “I really want to enjoy these next few weeks, because how often do you have back-to-back weeks kind of in your home town, and L.A. being home for me pretty much as well? How often do you have three weeks like that? Never going to really happen again. I’m just going to try and enjoy those weeks.”