Players Championship

Players 2021: Collin Morikawa has a theory for why he's struggled right after his four victories

March 14, 2021

Icon Sportswire

PONTE VEDRA BEACH — Collin Morikawa shot 30 on his final nine of the Players Championship. That’s the good part. The bad part is he started the day tied for last among players who made the cut, so even with a Sunday 66, he’s likely to finish outside the top 40.

That’s always going to be a disappointing week for a guy ranked No. 4 in the world, but particularly so when you consider the form he flashed in his last start. In winning the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession two weeks ago by three shots, Morikawa picked up his fourth PGA Tour victory in just his 41st start.

What’s more, disappointing weeks directly after a win have been a bit of a theme for the 24-year-old. After his first tour win at the Barracuda Championship in the summer of 2019, he finished T-31 in his next start. After beating Justin Thomas in a playoff to win the Workday Charity Open at Muirfield Village last July, he finished T-48 the following week at the Memorial, playing the same golf course. After winning his first major at the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park, he missed the cut at The Northern Trust.

Four wins, and four disappointing results his next time out. So, what’s the cause? Is it a fluky thing, the result of a small sample size? Or indicative of something larger?

The 24-year-old has a theory.

“I need to grind a little more after a win,” he said Sunday. “After a win, I like to take a week off if it’s possible. And the couple weeks that I’ve had off—after the PGA I took a week off, after last week I had a week off—I was still sharpening things but not really trying to find something.

“I think the weeks where you show up and you’re not finding something but you know what’s working are the weeks that you’re going to play really well. And coming into this week was just ho-hum. Like, everything felt really good. I tweaked a couple things here and there, but I just got to grind a little more, and I look forward to that.”

The young man is nothing if not honest.