By now, Collin Morikawa is a household name among golf fans. Prior to his win at the 2020 PGA Championship, that was not necessarily the case, despite his sterling Tour record before his breakthrough major triumph.
The 23-year-old won twice within his first full year in the big leagues and kicked off his career with 22-straight cuts made, a feat only bettered by Tiger Woods.
But the casual golf fan isn’t the only one who didn’t know Morikawa before the PGA this year. As Morikawa revealed on the latest episode of the Drop Zone podcast, the announcer on the 1st tee at Harding Park apparently didn’t know his name either.
Morikawa was the featured guest on this week’s episode, and the entire discussion with hosts Dylan Dethier and Sean Zak is worth a listen, and a re-listen. Morikawa is incredibly insightful and well-spoken for his age, a mirror image of his calm, focused demeanor on the course, and he’s also not afraid to crack a joke or two on the record. You can listen to the entire episode below via Spotify, or on Apple Podcasts, Podbean.
But it was the very beginning of the interview when Morikawa shared a surprising revelation about his experience on the 1st tee at this year’s PGA at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.
“Thanks for having me,” Morikawa said after being introduced by Dethier. “You almost said my last name like they said at the PGA Championship.”
“Wait, what did they say at the PGA Championship?” Dethier asked.
“They said ‘Collin Morikama’ on the 1st tee, so we kind of had a good laugh on the 1st hole,” Morikawa replied, before breaking into laughter along with the hosts.
Ouch, how about a little respect for the (then) two-time Tour winner? Of course, Morikawa was able to brush off the unfortunate miscue in the best way possible, as our hosts found out.
“So wait, what was your reaction to that?” Zak asked.
“I took a little laugh, stepped off the tee, kind of gave it a couple extra seconds, and the fired it down the middle,” Morikawa said.
It may be a small thing, but even this anecdote shows the mental fortitude the young pro already manifests, which has played no small part in his immediate success on Tour. Something as minor as an unintentional slight by the announcer could leave a less-composed pro reeling.
Not Morikawa. He striped it down the middle of the fairway, and by the time he hoisted the Wanamaker trophy on Sunday evening as the newest PGA Champion, everyone knew how to pronounce his name.