PGA Tour

The funny reason this Zozo Championship longshot thought he was leading the tournament

October 19, 2023

Lintao Zhang

While most U.S. golf fans were sleeping, Collin Morikawa grabbed the early lead in Japan at the Zozo Championship. But it was another golfer who actually thought he was in front briefly—for a funny reason.

Introducing Mikumu Horikawa, a 30-year-old Japanese golfer who had a nice day himself at Narashino Country Club with an opening 65. The World No. 267 initially thought he was leading the way before realizing it was the two-time major champ with a similar name.

"When he look at the leaderboard, first he thought he's the first because the name is very like similar, Morikawa and Horikawa," Horikawa's interpreter said. "So oh, that's not me. He was like, oh, I want to catch up him."

Just a classic mix-up there.

Not that Horikawa isn't happy just contending in Japan. The pre-tournament 1,000-to-1 longshot is only making his ninth career PGA Tour start with his best finish a T-16 at last year's Zozo. But the four-time international winner who primarily plays on the Japan Golf Tour is currently tied for second with Emiliano Grillo, Eric Cole, Robby Shelton, and Nicolai Hojgaard, one shot behind Morikawa's opening 64.

And in case you're curious, Horikawa says he's met Morikawa, who has Japanese roots. But the two have very different golf resumes. At least, for now.

"He said not really," Horikawa's interpreter answered when asked if Horikawa is famous like Morikawa. "But he wants to become popular after this week to win."

Good luck, Mimuku. And maybe just have your caddie look at the leaderboard the rest of the week.