Colin Morikawa is hoping for a win in 2022.

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Colin Morikawa feels old.

This does not mean that he is Old of course. Morikawa is 25 years old, and he’s young by all accounts. He’s young for a golfer. He’s young for a professional golfer. And for all our differences as a race, humanity seems united around the idea that no young man should be able to complain about getting old. (To be clear: You are allowed to complain about aging to young people, but never to old people. That’s the rule.) So Morikawa may not find much sympathy from the general public in golf. However, it feels old.

Morikawa was beaming as he greeted the media at this week’s World Tech Championships in Mayakoba. He showed the official media of the tour official photos of the view from his room. He said he plans to enjoy the nearby beach. But then he made it clear that he’s here on a business trip, determined to end the turbulent 2022 season in a big way.

“This year has been a bit stressful, and a bit depressing at the same time,” he said. “I think some guys definitely take it easy and I kind of ramped it up just trying to figure things out. I want to finish this fall with the best foot forward I can. That’s why I came to these tournaments, to get out here and play well and hopefully win.”

Morikawa used to win early and often in his young career. He won once in 2019 the Barracuda Championship. Twice in 2020, including the PGA Championship. And three times in 2021 (twice on the PGA Tour, once on the DP World Tour), including the Open Championship. This time last year, Morikawa was advancing to world number one, a dream almost fulfilled in the Global Champions Challenge. But it didn’t come easily this time around the sun.

Morikawa made his debut in 2022 in Hawaii before making a trip to play back-to-back events on the DP World Tour: the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and Dubai Desert Classic. This, he says, was when he started feeling turning off.

“A lot of research and a lot of guessing, right?” He said. “Since I took a trip to Dubai and played DP World, and played Abu Dhabi and Dubai earlier in the year, I didn’t feel comfortable at all. It was just searching for that game, looking for some kind of normal.”

The problem, Morikawa said, is that he tends to seek perfection. Not used to stability Good enough. And so even when he came up with top-notch results — T2 comes to mind at Genesis Invitational, just a few weeks later — he still didn’t feel well. Keep searching. The search is exhausting. Morikawa still scored a few in the top 10 finals but only had that single trip on the podium. He started the year at No. 2 globally and slipped to No. 9.

“It’s been more stressful this year,” Morikawa said. “I was just trying to figure out what was wrong when it was just my body type and the way my body moves.”

You’ll remember that Morikawa has been battling all year long to make his patented baby fade, stick to a tie, and then go back to fade out again. He was still among the best ball strikers of the round (he ranked 3rd for hits earned: approach) but struggled in and around the greens. He thinks everything is connected. As for the reason for the body change? Enter again Morikawa, the aging star.

“Honestly, I think it’s getting old. It’s just getting old,” he said. “I mean, man, I drank more in college than I ever did, but apparently when you get older, your body moves differently. I still feel great, like everything looks great, everything moves great, but it’s not as clean as it used to be. And the maintenance I have to do now is a little more.

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Dylan Diether

“It doesn’t mean I need to do anything crazy, I don’t really change anything, it’s just getting my body where I need it. Let’s say in the last year I didn’t really have to focus on it, but when I look back and think about how much travel I’ve done Don’t stop. I love it, but travel takes a toll on your body and it affects you and you have to be able to work your way through it and that’s what the best athletes do.”

This does not necessarily concern Morikawa. But he’s redoubling his recovery efforts and trying to play his way into shape.

“I’m going to use that kind of fall season no matter how it turns out just to shoot myself for 23, and be ready to come in early January,” he said. But he concedes that the trip to the Riviera Maya doesn’t quite frighten her.

“Sitting on the beach might be better for you, this week, than sitting on your bed watching a Netflix show, right? It’s just taking it and enjoying our spot, right, and I think the best thing is to go out and get some sun.”

Ah, being young.

Dylan Diether

Dylan Diether Editor
Dylan Diether is a senior writer for GOLF Magazine / The Williamstown, Massachusetts native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years of squabbling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a graduate of Williams College, where he majored in English, and is the author 18 in Americawho details the year he spent as an 18-year-old living out of his car and playing a round of golf in every state.

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