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Collin Morikawa on his first Masters invite, his new quarantine hobby, and posing for that epic TaylorMade Christmas card

April 13, 2020

Sam Greenwood

When Collin Morikawa played for the first time with Tiger Woods, he wasn’t as nervous as you might expect. Of course, nothing humanizes a living legend more than seeing him wearing a Christmas onesie.

Such was the situation Morikawa found himself in just a few months earlier, when the newly minted PGA Tour pro joined Woods and some of golf’s biggest names for a TaylorMade Christmas card that went viral. It was heady company for the youngster at the time, but he’s quickly climbed the ranks as one of the game’s best—and most consistent—players.

Since turning pro following a decorated collegiate career at the University of California, Morikawa hasn’t missed the cut in his first 21 PGA Tour starts. That’s the best active streak on tour, and it included a first victory at the Barracuda Championship in July.

Oh, and Morikawa more than held his own with Tiger during that initial pairing at Torrey Pines in February. Despite being the first golfer born after Tiger turned pro to play alongside Woods, Morikawa beat his idol head to head by a stroke over the first two days. The 23-year-old was quick to point out, however, that Woods got him where it mattered, on the final leader board.

Now in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking, Morikawa recently earned his first Masters invite. When we spoke to him via Zoom for this week's Golf Digest Podcast (27:50 mark), the SoCal native was excited to talk about his upcoming first trip to Augusta National (whenever it comes), how he’s been staying busy while under quarantine, if he was motivated by not winning the PGA Tour's Rookie of the Year and, yes, that famed TaylorMade Christmas card shoot.

Plus, Sam Weinman and Daniel Rapaport joined me to discuss a Masters weekend unlike any other, a heated office debate over the tournament’s most defining moments, and a side of Tiger Woods we rarely see. Please have a listen: