Open champion Collin Morikawa believes the vivid stories of the next two weeks should drown out the noise of LIV Golf and the game’s civil war.
Morikawa credits his presence at the Genesis Scottish Open last year for his victory the following week at Sandwich. The presence of the best players in the world at The Renaissance this week, and all that’s coming at the 150th Open next week, are the only stories that matter for him.
The 25-year-old had to go public on Twitter last month to deny unwarranted rumours he was heading to LIV Golf, and is frustrated with it all.
‘Does it get any better than that?’
Featured Groups for @ScottishOpen:
⛳️ Scottie Scheffler
⛳️ Jon Rahm
⛳️ Viktor Hovland
🏌️♂️ Matt Fitzpatrick
🏌️♂️ Collin Morikawa
🏌️♂️ Will Zalatoris
⛳️ Justin Thomas
⛳️ Hideki Matsuyama
⛳️ Tommy Fleetwood
🏌️♂️ Cameron Smith
🏌️♂️ Tyrrell Hatton
🏌️♂️ Jordan Spieth
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 5, 2022
“I just woke up to people saying I was going somewhere, when I obviously wasn’t,” he said. “So you had to shut it down.
“It is frustrating. I’m someone that’s 25 years old, right, I’ve done this for just three years. All I’ve ever dreamt about is the PGA Tour, winning majors, playing against the best in the world.
“We all have our opinions, right, and we all have what we want to say, but all I want to do is focus on each week and focus on the tournaments.”
He’d brought up the same situation at the US Open, being frustrated with LIV talk when all he wanted to do was focus on the history of the venue and championship.
“Same thing this week,” he said. “I have already shut (LIV talk) down. We are here with an amazing field, 14 of the 15 best players in the world. That should be the story line.
“And then for next week, I could say a mouthful. Me being defending champion, 150th Open, at St Andrews.
“Tiger Woods is playing again. I mean, does it get better than that? It’s tough to beat that.”
Morikawa feels defensive for the Scottish Open because he believes last year it was a huge factor in him winning The Open. His experience at Renaissance convinced him to change his irons to the ones that were so locked in at Sandwich.
‘I was always going to show up here’
To state for the record, once again, you all are absolutely wrong. I’ve said it since February at Riviera that I’m here to stay on the @PGATOUR and nothing has changed. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some cereal to pour in my milk
— Collin Morikawa (@collin_morikawa) June 21, 2022
“I seriously owe everything to this week last year,” he said. “My game had felt as good as it had the entire year. I came over here and it was a little windy but nothing crazy and I was hitting 9-irons to edges of the greens. It just wasn’t acceptable.
“I just kept complaining to JK (Jakovac, his caddie) that like my irons felt off, I just couldn’t hit the ball in the centre of the face.
“Without this week at Renaissance and playing at The Scottish Open, I would never have thought about changing irons. And probably never won The Open.
“And why try and change it up from what happened last year? It gave me good prep. It got me out to Europe.
“Even before this alliance of the tours, I was always going to show up here. When you see a field like this, you want to be a part of it even more.
“I can’t see why you wouldn’t want to be a part of something like this. The fans are crazy in a good way because they love the game, but they appreciate just us coming out.
“Any time you’re able to be a part of that just enjoy the fans as much as they are enjoying you, you know it’s going to be a good time.”