Collin Morikawa – photo Getty Images Sam Greenwood
Current PGA Champion, Collin Morikawa, continued his meteoric rise in the game with victory at this week’s WGC Workday Championship at Concessions in Bradenton in Florida.
Twelve months ago Morikawa stood outside the top 50 in the game but as a result of his PGA Championship win, and this week’s victory, he finds himself in 4th place in the world ranking and, it would seem, with a bullet.
Morikawa won by three over Brooks Koepka, Viktor Hovland and Billy Horschel.
After his round Morikawa acknowledged the pressure he felt under during the final round.
“It’s so huge. No matter what anyone says, sleeping on a lead has its pressure, has its nerves. But I was excited to get back in contention, to have a chance to win. It’s something that I miss.
“Obviously I haven’t had it for a while, but this is what we love to do, we love to win. It’s a tough thing out here, but this tournament means so much. With how good the field was, how good my game felt, to close it out like this, with such a stacked leaderboard coming after me, really means a lot.”
Morikawa agreed when it was suggested that may have been a sense of complacency after his PGA Championship win at Harding Park last year.
“Yeah, there definitely was. It wasn’t like, oh, man, I should be winning every single week, but it just almost in that kind of fall portion, it was like, oh, I should be playing good golf, or on my bad days I should still be contending.
“It’s not the case. These guys are way too good. And I know that. When I sat down after my last event on the Tour, which was the Masters, or even right before the Masters, I sat down with Rick, my coach, and I said, you know — I told him the honest truth, that this is just — you know, I got complacent.
“I was getting lazy. I was getting a sense of where I didn’t want to just be the best every single week. And that doesn’t mean I wasn’t practicing right or it doesn’t mean all this, it was just a mental state of, you know, coming out, being ready to play great golf Thursday through Sunday.
“So I kind of reset that before the Masters, I was able to work on that throughout December, a couple times on that European Tour. By the time this year started, my game felt really, really good, I just need to put four good rounds together.”
Cameron Smith finished as the leading Australian when he tied for 11th but he will rue two double bogeys during round three after visiting water at the 5th and 13th holes. He had made a fast start on Saturday and was contending for the lead before disaster struck and his eventual 77 cost him any chance before the final round.
Smith would, though, record a round of 67 today to head back in the right direction and improve nine positions.
Jason Day was the next best of the Australasians when he finished 18th despite a last hole bogey, Minwoo Lee was unable to repeat the brilliance of his third round 66 but finished 28th in just his second PGA Tour event, Marc Leishman was 39th, Jason Scrivener 41st, Wade Ormsby 52nd, Adam Scott 54th, Brad Kennedy 61st and Lucas Herbert 70th.
The PGA Tour now moves to Orlando for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.