New Las Vegas resident Collin Morikawa could be golf’s next big thing, and his hometown fans can witness his talents next month.
Morikawa, 22, will play in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open from Oct. 3 to 6 at TPC Summerlin.
In his first nine PGA Tour starts as a professional in 2019, Morikawa didn’t miss a cut, won the Barracuda Championship in Reno, was runner up at the John Deere Classic and finished fourth at the 3M Championship. In all, he collected $1.754 million and finished 59th in the season-long FedEx Cup standings. Dozens of PGA Tour players who played a full schedule didn’t come close to matching those accomplishments.
“I set some goals prior to my first start, but I never had any expectations because a goal is something to work towards, but if you have expectations and it doesn’t work out, then it can feel like a failure,” Morikawa said Wednesday at TPC Summerlin where he spent the afternoon interacting with Shriners Hospitals patients and tournament ambassadors. “I believe in myself and I felt comfortable from my first tournament.
“My main goal was to just learn as much as possible this summer and I definitely did.”
Morikawa, a former All-American at Cal, is scheduled to begin his first official, full PGA Tour season Sept. 26 at the Safeway Open in Napa. He played there in 2018 as an amateur and missed the cut.
The following week is the Shriners where he will be part of a field that includes Brooks Koepka, the world’s top player; Bryson DeChambeau, the defending champion and world No. 10; Adam Scott, a former UNLV All-American and currently ranked 15th in the world; Phil Mickelson, a five-time major champion; and Bubba Watson, a two-time Masters champion, who recently committed to play.
Also scheduled to play is 20-year-old Mathew Wolff, who won the John Deere Classic following a final-round battle with Morikawa.
A strong local contingent for Shriners features Ryan Moore (2012 Shriners champion), Kevin Na (2011 Shriners champion), Charley Hoffman, Aaron Wise (2018 PGA Tour rookie of the year), Scott Piercy and Jack Trent, a UNLV junior who won the Southern Highlands Collegiate to earn an exemption.
Morikawa’s summer included the move to Las Vegas, a destination he chose because of the thriving golf community where many of his peers also call home.
“There are so many great players who live here and I learn a lot just from being around them and practicing and playing with them,” Morikawa said.
Brian Hurlburt can be reached at email@example.com or @LVGolfInsider.