Morikawa caring less about No. 1 and more about winning

Jul 5, 2022, 9:41 PM | Updated: Jul 6, 2022, 9:44 am
U.S golfer Colin Morikawa playing the 9th hole during the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor, Ireland...

U.S golfer Colin Morikawa playing the 9th hole during the JP McManus Pro-Am at Adare Manor, Ireland, Tuesday, July, 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

(AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

NORTH BERWICK, Scotland (AP) — Collin Morikawa was one round away from reaching No. 1 in the world, staked to a five-shot lead in the Bahamas and needing only to win.

Seven months later, No. 1 feels like a mile away.

Morikawa shot 76 in the final round last December and began the new year thinking so much about it that he started going in the wrong direction. He hasn’t won, and really hasn’t come particularly close until the U.S. Open last month.

“I think that might have played a factor in how I was performing beginning of the year,” Morikawa said Wednesday at the Scottish Open. “What I cared about was trying to get to No. 1 in the world.”

He now is No. 4 but still so far from Scottie Scheffler that even wins at the Scottish Open and the British Open next week might not be enough to catch him.

But that’s no longer his concern.

“I just want to get back in the winner’s circle. That’s what it was like since I’ve turned pro and it hasn’t changed,” Morikawa said. But when you’re on the cusp of something and you’re so close to that, sometimes kind of jumps precedent to what you really need to focus on.”

This would be a good time to turn it around. Morikawa has fond memories of the Scottish Open, more from the experience than the result. He tied for 71st, but his taste of links revealed that he needed to change his irons. A week later, he was a British Open champion.

“So if I had just shown up to The Open Championship last year, it probably just would have been a repeat of what I saw last year during this event, maybe hitting fairways and then missing every green, which is not the case for trying to win major championships,” he said.

Different about this Scottish Open, which starts Thursday, is the field.

This is the first example of the alliance between the PGA Tour and the European tour. The Scottish Open counts for both tours, and the field is the strongest in the tournament’s history, with each tour getting equal spots in the 156-man field that features 14 of the top 15 in the world. Rory McIlroy is the only one not playing.

Well, the field is a little more than 156 players.

Ian Poulter and Branden Grace were among four players who signed up for the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series and won a temporary stay from the European tour suspending them. They were added to the field, going off in twosomes at the front end of each side of the draw.

Not everyone is happy about that.

“I believe they made their bed,” Billy Horschel said. “They shouldn’t be coming back over here to play the DP World Tour or the PGA Tour. To say that they wanted to also support the DP or PGA Tour going forward, while playing the LIV tour, is completely asinine in my opinion.”

And not everyone cares, least of all Robert MacIntyre, the lefty from Oban and Scotland’s highest-ranked player at No. 102, out of the top 100 for the first time in nearly three years. These two tournaments are the highlight of his season — his national Open and the ultimate Open at St. Andrews. He was in no mood for any chatter about rival leagues or innuendos.

“I’m here to try and win the Scottish Open, next week try to win The Open Championship. These two weeks are massive for my game and my career,” he said. “I have a chance the next few weeks to do something special and I’m not worrying about what’s going on.”

The wind was ripping across The Renaissance Club on Wednesday, flags of the DP World Tour (commercial name for the European tour) and FedEx Cup from the PGA Tour sharing space on the grandstands.

“The weather today was fun. I don’t know if it would be as fun if it was a tournament,” Scheffler said. “I don’t know if we could have played this golf course if it was a tournament.”

Scheffler is among several stars who have had all week to acclimatize. He arrived over the weekend to play Lahinch and Ballybunion before going to the J.P. McManus Pro-Am. Stepping off the plane and onto the tee, he noticed 100 or so people who came out to watch.

“No stretching and warming up and right on the first tee and everyone is sitting there watching you,” Scheffler said. “We warned them starting the round, ‘You won’t be seeing what the No. 1 player looks like.'”

It counts on Thursday, consecutive weeks of the best players in links golf, ending with the final major championship of the year at the home of golf.


More AP golf: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


United States' Alyssa Thomas runs around Serbia's Jovana Nogic to score a goal during their quarter...
Associated Press

Thomas helps US top Serbia 88-55, advance to World Cup semis

SYDNEY (AP) — Alyssa Thomas had 13 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists to help the United States beat Serbia 88-55 in the quarterfinals of the women’s World Cup on Thursday. Kelsey Plum scored 17 points and A’ja Wilson added 15 to lead the Americans (6-0), who will face the winner of Canada and Puerto […]
21 hours ago
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman (2) is tagged out between second and third base by Arizona Diamondback...
Associated Press

Astros lose 5-2 to Diamondbacks as Walker gets key hit

HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros lost out on an opportunity to clinch the top seed in the AL when Christian Walker capped Arizona’s three-run 10th inning with a two-run single, sending the Diamondbacks to a 5-2 victory Wednesday night. With the loss and the New York Yankees’ 8-3 win at Toronto, the Astros’ magic […]
21 hours ago
Milwaukee Brewers' Hunter Renfroe reacts after hitting an RBI single during the third inning of a b...
Associated Press

Brewers boost playoff hopes with 5-1 victory over Cardinals

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Brandon Woodruff struck out 10 over six scoreless innings and Devin Williams delivered four big outs late to boost the Milwaukee Brewers’ playoff hopes with a 5-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night. The victory, Milwaukee’s first since last Saturday at Cincinnati, combined with the Phillies’ loss to the […]
21 hours ago
New York Mets' Eduardo Escobar (10) celebrates after hitting a walk-off RBI single during the 10th ...
Associated Press

Escobar rallies Mets past Marlins in 10, back into 1st alone

NEW YORK (AP) — With the Mets needing a comeback in the pressure of a tight pennant race, Eduardo Escobar was a one-man show. Escobar homered and drove in five late runs — including the game-winning single in the 10th inning — to rally New York past the Miami Marlins 5-4 on Wednesday night and […]
21 hours ago
Minnesota Twins' Billy Hamilton is congratulated in the dugout after he scored against the Chicago ...
Associated Press

Wallner’s 3 RBIs help Twins send Sox to 8th straight loss

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Matt Wallner’s late-season call-up to his home state team has been a September for the 24-year-old to remember, even if the Minnesota Twins have fallen out of contention. Wallner drove in a career-high three runs, and Gio Urshela and Jake Cave each had three hits as the Twins beat Chicago 7-4 on […]
21 hours ago
Cleveland Guardians' Amed Rosario (1) celebrates with teammates after hitting a game-winning single...
Associated Press

Rosario has pinch single in 10th, Guardians beat Rays 2-1

CLEVELAND (AP) — Pinch-hitter Amed Rosario had a bases-loaded single in the 10th inning to give the Cleveland Guardians a 2-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night. Rosario, who wasn’t in the starting lineup as manager Terry Francona rests his regulars after wrapping up the the AL Central, batted for Luke Maile, […]
21 hours ago
Morikawa caring less about No. 1 and more about winning