Three poor swings at the wrong times.
That’s how Collin Morikawa explained his historic collapse in the final round of the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions – won by Jon Rahm – that saw him join the list of nine players who squandered six-shot leads after 54 holes on the PGA Tour.
“Sadness. I don’t know. It sucks,” he said of his immediate feelings after the round. “You work so hard and you give yourself these opportunities and just bad timing on bad shots and kind of added up really quickly.”
Unfortunately for the 25-year-old American, Sunday wasn’t the only late blunder of his career. He also fumbled a five-shot lead in the final round of the 2021 Hero World Challenge.
“Hero is different. Hero started off bad, never found it, never felt good, just bad. Today it felt fine,” explained Morikawa, who faced the media with poise just minutes after his blunder-filled back nine. “Just made three poor swings, really, at the wrong times. It’s never a good time to put a poor swing on it, but sometimes it works out and these never worked out.”
Morikawa’s first bogeys of the week came Sunday on Nos. 14-16 at Kapalua’s Plantation Course and led him to match the second-worst score of the day, a 1-under 72. He knew he was in trouble when he reached the 15th green and realized he was putting for par to stay tied for the lead.
“At that point it’s a little different feeling than what you had early on,” said Morikawa. Rahm played his final seven holes at 6 under, whereas Morikawa was 2 over down the final stretch.
The grind never stops. pic.twitter.com/bKIHSgMmwa
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) January 9, 2023
Morikawa said he’ll take a few days off to enjoy what Hawaii has to offer – admitting it won’t be as fun now – and will tee it up next at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego at the end of the month, followed by the WM Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale (Feb. 9-12) and the Genesis Invitational (Feb. 16-19) at Riviera near Los Angeles, where he finished T-2 last season.
After an impressive college and amateur career at Cal, Morikawa found immediate success after turning pro with his win at the 2019 Barracuda Championship. In just 77 PGA Tour starts, Morikawa already has five wins on Tour – including a pair of majors at the 2019 PGA Championship and 2021 Open Championship – and 26 top-10 finishes.
So far this season, Morikawa has made the cut in all three of his official starts, but remains winless dating back to July 2021.
“We’re still getting there, but for me I know there’s still a lot of work to do,” he said. ” Obviously it shows today, but I’m willing to put in that work.”