Collin Morikawa, despite impressive statistics and a career-best strokes gained per round average on the PGA TOUR, has been searching for his old form that brought him victories in his early years as a professional. The golfer, who won his first PGA TOUR event in his sixth start and later secured two major championships, felt something was amiss despite the numbers.
Morikawa entered the TOUR Championship with a nine-shot deficit, but his opening-round 61 quickly changed the situation. He now shares the lead at 10 under with Keegan Bradley and Viktor Hovland, putting himself in a favorable position to win his first FedExCup.
In previous years, Morikawa had the confidence that his shots would curve back as intended. However, at times this season, that control eluded him. He believes he found a solution during the Rocket Mortgage Classic, but its effectiveness didn't last. This week at the TOUR Championship, he felt that sense of control return thanks to a minor adjustment in his setup.
While Morikawa is pleased with his first-round performance, he's cautious about declaring the solution a permanent fix. He hopes that by sustaining this newfound control, he can return to the level of play he exhibited in his earlier years on TOUR.
Morikawa's round of 61 was the lowest of the field and included exceptional ball-striking and putting. If he continues to marry strong iron play with a solid putting performance, he could replicate the formula that has led to his past successes.
Ultimately, Morikawa's goal is to recapture the confidence and control he once had in his swing, which he believes will lead him back to his peak performance levels.