Collin Morikawa speaks to the media on Tuesday at Los Angeles Country Club ahead of this week’s U.S. Open.
LOS ANGELES — Every major tournament has a pre-tournament theme. The favorites. The course. Maybe the rough. Sometimes it’s a larger storyline that takes over headlines. Eighteen months ago: Will LIV Golf happen? Twelve months ago: Will LIV Golf last? One month ago: Should LIV Golf players be in the Ryder Cup?
And this week’s theme? That’s easy. Nobody knows anything. Seriously. Just ask them.
“I’ll be completely honest, I literally know as much as you,” Matt Fitzpatrick said.
“I know as much if not less than you,” Max Homa said. “I’m probably not able to make a real opinion.”
Added Cameron Smith, “There’s definitely a lot of curious players, I think, on both sides as to what the future is going to look like.”
What they are talking about, of course, is last week’s news of the merger of PGA Tour, DP World and PIF, which funds LIV Golf. That story broke exactly seven days ago, and there’s still way more questions than answers. Will LIV Golf exist in the future? How easy, or difficult, will it be for LIV players to return to the PGA Tour? What does the 2024 schedule look like? And what about the Ryder Cup?
“I thought my phone was going to catch on fire at one point,” said Jon Rahm, who was at home with his kids when the news broke. “There were so many questions that I just couldn’t answer. It’s basically what it was. I think it was that day at one point I told [my wife] Kelley I’m just going to throw my phone in the drawer and not look at it for the next four hours because I can’t deal with this anymore.”
It’s easy to understand the players’ frustration, with the lack of communication, with the uncertainty, and with the questions about it. Yes, they don’t know what’s happening, but the media — I’m biased here — still has to ask the questions. (That’s our job!)
This leads us to Collin Morikawa, the 26-year-old two-time major winner. He was ready for the question, which came at the end of his press conference on Tuesday at Los Angeles Country Club. He probably wasn’t shocked to get it, either, since he was one of the big-name pros to tweet moments after the news surfaced last week.
I love finding out morning news on Twitter
Here was the reporter’s question: After your tweet the morning of the merger, you’ve had a few days to process it and talk to people. Can you share what your thoughts are at this point?
“Yeah. I don’t know anything,” he said. “So I’ll talk about my FORE Youth Project that we’re doing. It’s this Maggie Hathaway project. It’s amazing. It’s in a community that is for underprivileged kids, kids that don’t have an opportunity to play. There’s many great organizations coming on board with this, and it’s something that means a lot to me.”
A great answer, right? Here’s the rest of it.
“I think LA has a big divide. We get to play Riviera every year, we play LACC this year. There’s a huge divide between private golf and public golf out here in Los Angeles,” he continued. “It’s not the case for everyone, but there really is, and most people are playing public municipal golf courses, and the change of this golf course is going to be great. It’s going to give opportunities I think that I’ve learned from golf that are able to just teach kids just the real world. School teaches a lot of things, but the real world is you can learn a lot from golf. That’s my answer.”
Speaking of Maggie Hathaway, we wrote about it in our latest issue of GOLF Magazine, which you can check out here.
Morikawa, who won Tuesday’s battle of the press conferences, begins his quest for major No. 3 at 11:13 a.m. ET on Thursday. He’s playing alongside Max Homa and Scottie Scheffler in the first two rounds.
Josh Berhow is the managing editor at GOLF.com. The Minnesota native graduated with a journalism degree from Minnesota State University in Mankato. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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