A wise head on young shoulders

By Neil Connolly, in Sport · 14-08-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments
A wise head on young shoulders

Collin Morikawa - take a bow; Sunday evening’s golf shot was possibly, even probably, the best golf shot under pressure you’ll ever see!

Even he said “I wish the crowds were there” because if he’d hit that shot with stadiums present and thousands of spectators, the roof would literally have left the building.

He’s 23 and fresh out of university; in fact 15 months ago he was finishing his final year at the University of California. Now he has as many missed cuts as he does major championships, and that is in 27 PGA Tour starts. Oh, and we need to mention that he has won three times now.

The shot I’m referring to is the driver he hit on the 16th hole. Debating with his caddie whether he should use iron and lay up, he decided that the moment had come to hit driver and go for the green. He stands up, makes the swing, flushes it with a baby fade and the ball 8 seconds later lies 12 feet from the pin. He then holes the putt for eagle, pars the last two holes and wins the Wanamaker Trophy by two shots.

His comments at the press conference after the tournament really do speak to his wise head on young shoulders, knowing that at a time when the leaderboard really was a see-saw tug of war between four players, he knew that a golf shot of enormous quality was required if he was going to hold the trophy at the end of the first major championship week of the year. So, he took the tournament by the scruff of the neck and hit the shot.

Leaving his playing competitors with a lot to think about and nothing but praise for the young man, Paul Casey said, “instant maturity”, Brookes Koepka commenting, “he’s a helluva player, there’s a lot of upside to him.” And Tony Finau remarking that, “he’s not going anywhere any time soon.”

A great golf writer Ron Green Jnr commented saying that the future arrives in a hurry these days. Where the ever-likeable Paul Casey now aged 43, 20 years Morikawa’s senior, has just watched a youngster fresh out of college win a tournament which he has never won. For the likes of Rose, DJ and Jason Day, winning majors is getting more and more difficult.

For the players who are wrestling for the world number one position saying they became tougher because there are two other stand-out rookies that have emerged onto the scene; Cameron Champ and Finland’s Victor Hovland. The future is always coming and sometimes it arrives quicker than you think.

If you hadn’t heard of Collin Morikawa before this week, he is definitely the hottest property in golf right now. Especially during a year where the rule book has been thrown out, the calendar has been disrupted beyond belief, and even the biggest sporting event to occur this year didn’t look as big as an amateur event, but yet it still was a major.

Normally The PGA championship heralds the end of the majors for the year, yet in 2020 it’s the start. The PGA Tour now goes on to the FedEx championships, followed by two majors - The US Open next month and the Masters Championship in November.

No Ryder Cup this year, we have to wait till next year for that. A bizarre situation, yet it is the new reality.

But at least golf has a significant part to play in this new reality, some are actually saying that the way golf is behaving it is leading the way in world sports.

Nonetheless, a star has been born and we will watch to see how bright he burns for the rest of the season. Whilst we watched a dampened down version of a major championship, perhaps his coolness and maturity suits this new age of golf and who would have thought that a youngster would prevail against older heads on older shoulders?

Like anything, we will have to wait and see but at least we won’t have to wait long. Unless this year takes another turn.


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