Frustrated Morikawa Needs To 'Learn How To Close' To Get Back To Winning Ways

Collin Morikawa says he needs to "learn how to close" again to end his frustrating wait for another tournament victory

Collin Morikawa
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Collin Morikawa says he’s had a “frustrating” season so far and needs to “learn how to close” in order to get back to winning golf tournaments.

The 26-year-old is already a two-time Major champion, but the last of his five career victories came at the 2021 DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

Since then, Morikawa saw a six-shot lead evaporate at the Sentry Tournament of Champions at the start of the year, before some decent finishes but plenty of inconsistency.

Morikawa finished third at the Farmers Insurance Open and T6 at the Genesis, along with a T10 finish at The Masters and T13 at The Players, before creditable finishes of T26 and T14 at the PGA Championship and US Open respectively.

Being there or thereabouts, but not being able to take that leap though has proved frustrating for Morikawa, who says he needs to learn how to get the job done again.

“Frustrating's a word I can use,” Morikawa said of his season so far ahead of playing in the Rocket Mortgage Classic. “Look, it all comes down to just winning. You can miss 20 cuts and have two wins. And I'd love to win. It's not the consistency I'd want, but you get my point. 

“Winning to me is everything. You've got to learn how to close, you've got to be able to do it. It sucked at Memorial because obviously I hurt myself and I was two back. Being two back at that course, you make one birdie in the first four holes, you might be tied for the lead, right?

"So it's just putting myself in contention, giving myself three days of good golf to get there to Sunday to be in contention, right? I've kind of put myself behind the eight-ball recently playing some bad first rounds, trying to climb back up second, third, fourth round. It's hard to win tournaments like that.”

With a return to the Open Championship on the horizon, and then of course the Ryder Cup and places in Rome to play for, Morikawa is not about to give up on his season just yet.

“This year hasn't been great, but I'm not giving up,” said Morikawa. “We're still right there, we're 32nd FedEx Cup. A win puts us pretty high up so just focus how to win.

"I think it's just coming down to control the golf ball. Right now I brought in left on the golf course. That's when I was playing my best, when I was winning, I could swing as hard as I'd want and the ball was never going left.

“It's just getting those three shots a round, per se, left out of play and then now it's I go and play like I did on Friday at Travelers and it was like I didn't hit it great, I didn't hit it my best I ever hit it, but it's like you make a few birdies, you make your par 5 birdies and you're 7 under. 

“Obviously there's low scores, but that 7 under was a lot easier than a lot of rounds I've had in the past couple months.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.