23-Year-Old Collin Morikawa One of Youngest Ever to Win PGA Championship: 'It Doesn't Stop Here'
Collin Morikawa won the PGA Championship on Sunday, becoming the third-youngest winner since World War II, behind Rory McIlroy and Jack Nicklaus
Collin Morikawa just had one of the biggest weekends of his life.
The 23-year-old golfer made history on Sunday at TPC Harding Park in San Franciso, becoming one of the four youngest PGA Championship winners since World War II, joining Rory McIlroy, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, who all were victorious at 23.
"It's great company. It's been crazy, because this entire start of my professional career, I see all the things comparing to Tiger … but Tiger is on a completely different level. I think we all know that," Morikawa told reporters of comparisons between himself and Woods.
"Any time you're in the conversation of the greats, Jack, Rory, Tiger, no matter who it is, if you're in that conversation, you're doing something well," he continued.
Simply being one of the youngest to earn a win at the PGA Championship wasn't enough, though, as Morikawa also nabbed the lowest closing 36-hole score by a champion in men's major history, according to the PGA.
The only thing missing from Morikawa's milestone, he said, was the fans.
"This is the one time I really wish there were crowds right there,” Morikawa, a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, said. "I heard some claps. Obviously not a ton. But the claps could mean I'm on the green and I've got 50 feet."
"Walking up I knew it was right above the tier, and you had to make it," he added. "I had to make that putt. Two strokes is a lot different than one stroke coming down 18."
Like so many other sporting events over the last few weeks, crowds at the championship were limited due to social distancing restrictions in place during the coronavirus pandemic. But one fan who was in attendance? Three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry, who even took time to ask Morikawa a question after the event.
According to the PGA, the victory now places Morikawa at No. 2 in the FedExCup standings and fifth in the world rankings.
"I've believed in myself since day one. I haven't let up from that," Morikawa said on Sunday. "When I woke up today, I was like, this is meant to be. This is where I feel very comfortable. This is where I want to be, and I'm not scared [of] it. I think if I was scared from it, the last few holes would have been a little different."
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Even after such a momentous win, Morikawa is focused on what comes next.
"It doesn't stop here. I've got a very good taste of what this is like, what a major championship is like," he said. “The majors are going to be circled in, just like everyone else, but I've got to focus on every single week. I'm trying to win every single week. I'm not trying to come out and just win the majors."
"I love golf. I love every part of it," he continued. "I love being in this position and I love just being able to come out here and play with a bunch of guys that love the sport, too."