In his brusque and ever direct manner he called it stage fright, or the lack of it, is what levitates the greats from the also rans.
You’ll notice that he didn’t mention technique, he didn’t even refer to short game. It really boils down to the ability to pull the trigger without hesitation or worry knowing that you belong. A calmness to deliver performance under pressure.
If you watched the last round of the Open Championship at Royal St. Georges at the weekend you have witnessed something extraordinary. The 24 year old of the moment stepped up and delivered, achieving something that has never ever been achieved before in the history of the game. Regardless of his age and the fact that he should be by all terms of reference be learning his trade, he has now bagged two major championships as a debutante.
Jack, Tiger, Jordan and even Seve did not come onto the world stage of tournament Professional Golf and accomplish what Collin Morikawa did last weekend. Amazing really.
I would have put a lot of money that Louis Oosthuizen was going to move into the winner’s circle after having way too many 2nd places, but the young Californian rose to the challenge and proved to be uncatchable. He has already captured the attention of every tournament professional because they now believe he is the world’s best iron player and it turns out that he has a world class attitude and calmness when it comes to the ultimate pressure.
The headlines for the last major championship was that it’s possible for a 50 plus year old to win a major championship, yet it took Phil Mickelson to be in his 35th year for him to win his first major championship, Colin Montgomerie is still waiting as is Lee Westwood. I was writing about Richard Bland winning his first ever event at age 48 a couple of months ago.
Collin Morikawa, has rewritten the history books and shown what is possible. Two years out of college he doesn’t look like the modern golfer standing at 5 foot 9 and 160lbs or 73 kilos. He doesn’t fit the mould of the bench pressing protein shake professional golfer that you see in Brooks Koepke or Bryson Dechambeau.
In fact, his demeanour, his stature and his personality up until this weekend was really flying underneath the radar. The guys in the know were questioning whether or not Morikawa would be able to step up and perform in front of thousands of people bearing in mind that his win last year in the US PGA Championship was around an empty golf course. Everybody knows that the crowd has an effect on a player and until you have stepped up and performed in front of an amphitheatre you really haven’t been blooded.
All those questions have been answered. And then came the acceptance speech, which was every bit as composed as his full rounds of golf. His voice belying his stature sounding every bit as grounded as his golf game.
While the world has been watching and listening to the Koepka/DeChambeau feud, Morikawa has been quietly going about his business letting his golf do the talking.
Next comes the FedEx challenge in August and then the Ryder Cup in September, I don’t think I’d want to be playing against him in the singles. They say it takes years to develop a reputation, not in his case.
For any of you that have been reading these articles over the past five/six years this one has been penned from the beautiful new Academy we have at Tróia Golf Resort. We hope to see you up here soon!