PGA Championship - Preview Day 2
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PGA Tour success has come quickly for Collin Morikawa.

Fourteen months ago, Morikawa was making his major championship debut at the 2019 U.S. Open. Now, the University of California-Berkeley product returns to the Bay Area with two wins already under his belt, looking to win his first major title at the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park.

Morikawa now finds himself ranked as the No. 12 golfer in the world, two spots ahead of Tiger Woods, and firmly in the upper echelon with golf’s greatest stars.

While the 2020 PGA Championship will only be Morikawa’s second career major start, the 24-year-old isn’t feeling the nerves ahead of Thursday’s first round.

“I've gotten really comfortable out here,” Morikawa said Wednesday. “I've gotten to know all these guys, the guys that I've been watching on TV for years now, and I think that makes it easier because I'm not coming out here -- if I compare it to when I was at the U.S. Open last year, I didn't really know many of the guys. I would come out here, do my own thing. Last summer I got to play with Rory, I got to play with DJ, Justin Rose. I played with all these bunch of guys, but I had never met them, and I didn't know them, so it was kind of like, ‘Wow, these guys know what they are doing.’

“I’m out here now knowing these guys, talking to these guys, playing practice rounds with them. So, there's a sense of comfort and a sense of -- I know I belong here, and we are all here to just play really good golf. I do feel very comfortable.”

Morikawa has been playing brilliant golf since the PGA Tour returned from its coronavirus hiatus. He lost in a playoff to Daniel Berger in the Charles Schwab Challenge, but he rebounded a few weeks later to beat Justin Thomas in a playoff to win the Workday Charity Open at Muirfield Village.

TPC Harding Park will be a tough test for the game’s best, but one Morikawa should be up for. Ranking fourth in strokes gained: tee-to-green and 17th in strokes gained: off the tee, Morikawa has all the tools to be a factor in the championship. He tees off on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. local time with major champions Henrik Stenson and Zach Johnson. (View 2020 PGA Championship tee times)

 “I think my game, especially last weekend in Memphis was heading in the right direction,” Morikawa said. “I putted a little bit better. I need to hit the ball better, especially out here this week. You've got a bunch of long irons and you've got a bunch of drivers, but for the most part, it's a matter of: Can you step on the first tee tomorrow and be ready and not think about, ‘Oh man, we are at a major championship?’ It's just can we go out and make as many birdies as we can and play some really good golf.”

Starring at Cal, Morikawa is familiar with TPC Harding Park, having played it a few times in college. That familiarity can only help the young star, but he knows the setup this week will be much different for a major championship.

“This course is playing very different than I've ever seen it,” Morikawa said. “I've never seen rough on this course. Some of the tees we never played -- we never really tipped it out during qualifying.  Stanford hosted their event here one year because they did some redesigns on their course, but they never tipped it out.  We are not going to be playing 480- 500-yard Par 4s in college.”

Just 26 events into his PGA Tour career, Morikawa already has proven he belongs in the conversation with the game’s elite.

A win at TPC Harding Park this weekend will just confirm what most already know: Morikawa is destined for greatness.

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