Shriners Hospitals for Children Open

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

TPC Summerlin

Collin Morikawa

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome Collin Morikawa into the interview room at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Collin is making his second start at the event; made his tournament debut last year. Colin is a Las Vegas resident.

Just get an opening comment ahead of this week.

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, feels good to have a couple weeks off after the U.S. Open, to have this kind of west coast swing. Being Vegas, Vegas, then L.A. it's pretty much home events for me. There is nothing like sleeping in your own bed, getting out, driving to the course, feeling fresh.

I really look forward to playing here at TPC Summerlin. Played it a bunch now. Yeah, I look forward to it. My game is trending in the right direction. Yeah.

THE MODERATOR: You alluded to your game trending in the right direction. You finished in the top 10 in FedEx standings last season and just one start this season.

If you can elaborate on to the state of your game at this point.

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I think U.S. Open was kind of a wake-up call. Obviously missing the cut, getting a couple weeks off to kind of refresh, put the clubs away for a week.

You know, what really kind of popped up in any head was what was I doing really well last summer, the summer I came out when I turned pro, what did I do well in college, and kind of go back to those things. Don't try and change too much just because I might be playing well, last season went well.

Yes I'm trying to get better, trying to figure things out, but sometimes you got to kind of revert to what you did before. So just some mental things here and there that I picked up on and just kind of eased the way going into this week.

THE MODERATOR: Now we'll take some questions from the media.

Q. Couple for you. How long is your drive?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Eight minutes maybe.

Q. Okay. How many times have you played TPC Summerlin and thoughts on the course?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, you know, I haven't played it too much. Planned some matches which some guys and I will some out and play. I know last fall I played a little bit, but other than this past week, last week when I was repping here, I really hadn't played it sense maybe January.

With all the quarantine stuff I was practicing at Summit where I'm a member. You know, I've played it plenty of times now to know what every slope is out here, what the greens do. My caddie JJ has lived out here forever; he knows how to read everything.

So nothing comes as a surprise. It's just kind of showing up and getting ready to play some really good golf.

Q. And you alluded to earlier, ans I was wondering if you could expand, for a guy who made the cut in your first 22 professional events, you missed two of your last four. Does that throw you a bit?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: No, not at all. It was obviously a busy stretch of golf after the PGA. Like I said, having two weeks off kind of got me refreshed. I put the clubs away for a week and brought them back out and felt as ready as I could ever be.

So it's nothing worrying me. It's just me. I'm just trying to win at the end of the day. That mindset of trying to win every week is there. If I finish second or miss the cut, we didn't get the job done. It's just how much can I learn. I learn a lot from missed cuts, so having a couple missed cuts is going to put me on my toes to really figure out what I need to be a little more consistent on and kind of give myself a chance to win coming down nine holes on Sunday.

Q. Could I ask you a question: I know you want to be focused on this week and said you're staying at home, which is nice, but how much are you looking forward to Augusta, now a month away. Are you thinking about Augusta, maybe playing those sort of shots, and also I guess too going to Augusta as a major champion, too?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I've definitely practiced and figured out a couple shots that I might need to have for Augusta, but I can't get ahead of myself. If I start thinking about that these next three west coast weeks they're going to go by in a blink of an eye. I really want to enjoy these next few weeks, because how often do you have back-to-back weeks kind of in your home down, and L.A. being home for me pretty much as well?

How often do you have three weeks like that? Never going to really happen again. I'm just going to try and enjoy those weeks. I obviously look forward to Augusta. It's going to be a very special week out there. I've done a little prep here and there on the off weeks, but nothing that I'm thinking about this week where I'm going to try and hit certain shots just to prep for the Masters.

Q. I was just wondering if you could talk a little bit about how you ended up choosing Las Vegas as the place you wanted to live, and if choosing Las Vegas makes this more of a special tournament for you than just a regular tour stop?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, growing up west coast, literally growing up in California my entire life, I always enjoyed the west coast. I wanted to stay out here. In there Florida where a lot guys are where there is obviously a bunch of great golf and great golfers, just never was appealing. I wanted to stay west coast, as west as possible.

Nevada and Arizona make the most sense if you look at other factors that go into that. And I knew a lot of guys in Vegas already. I think I that made it easier. Food is great out here is, and that's obviously a big part my life is going out, getting some good food.

It's not like we live on the strip. I'm never going there that often. If I want to go have some good dinners with some friends, we'll go out there. But it's far enough away it's been an amazing move for me.

I love it where I am kind of in the Summerlin area. It just travels easy. I can go back home to L.A. and see my family if I want, quick drive, flight, whatever it is. It's been a great move for me really.

To answer the other part of the question, it does feel like a home event. I think last year having only lived there for maybe a handful months, five months or so, it didn't feel as much of a home event.

Now I really embrace living in Las Vegas, and I think it does feel like a home event for me.

Q. Sorry about this; talking about a home event. I'm throwing questions that are away from home. I'm based in Europe. This question is because I do write for British and Irish newspapers. I see you're not down to play this weeks BMW PGA, but you're second in the Race to Dubai. Were you conscious of that, that you're second, and the fact that Patrick, who's only 28 points ahead of you, is playing this week at Wentworth, and I know you got Augusta where you can get European Race to Dubai points. If you were in contention for the Race to Dubai, would you go to Dubai?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, it possibly could be added to my schedule. I haven't decided yet, but it was definitely something that before this quarantine stuff happened that's why I signed up for the European Tour membership. This was appealing to me. I was going to be in the WBCs, in the majors.

It was appealing. I want to go over there and play. And I want to see what it's like to go over there and play against other players that I've seen. I've known a few others, so it definitely could be added to the schedule.

That's the reason why I signed up for the membership, is to try and win it. I wouldn't just sign up just to sign up. I've got the Masters ahead of me. Obviously Patrick is playing this week like you said. But that's all out of my hands. If I play well at the Masters, then we can make a good run for it and we'll be out there in Dubai. I think it's in December, right?

So we'll see how that plays out, but it would be a really cool trip I bet to kind of head over there.

Q. Just one quick question. Crystal ball gazing, if you were to win the Race to Dubai, how bizarre would it be to not play an event on European soil?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I don't know if I would get a lot of the hate or what. Everyone goes through it for being an affiliate member. That's just part of being a part of the affiliate membership I have the first year of playing is that you don't necessarily have to go over and play. You can use the WGCs and the other events to kind of -- the majors -- to add up your points.

I just happened to win the first major that was really a huge point pool that kind of jump started me up there. You know, I can't say anything about it because I don't know the system that well. I'm very fortunate to be in that position.

Obviously I want to make something out of it giving myself a chance like that.

Q. I was wondering about mindset of playing a course like this where it's going to take probably 20- or 25-under to win, how you approach a tournament like that. You finished 12-under last year and that was 47, so...

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, it's nice. We've been playing some pretty tough courses. You look at the U.S. Open, Eastlake, Olympia Fields for BMW, they've all been kind of roughly around even par. You know, I don't think my mindset will necessarily change. It's just for me to go out there knowing that birdies are out there, that I can make birdies every hole. But I can't rush myself.

I guess it is somewhat of a mindset, but I'm not forcing myself to make birdies. I want to let the birdies come and just go out there and play golf and hit some really good shots. I think you'll get rewarded hitting good shots out here, because some shots and some holes and some pin locations might be a little more accessible with a wedge compared to a 5-iron out of some U.S. Open rough.

Yeah, scores are definitely going to be low; conditions look great. I look forward to it.

THE MODERATOR: All right, Collin, we appreciate the time and best of luck in your hometown event.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
102362-1-1041 2020-10-06 19:57:00 GMT

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