Morikawa aiming for Dubai glory after overcoming 'laziness'

Dubai (AFP) –


Collin Morikawa comes into this week's Dubai Desert Classic as one of the overwhelming favourites after battling what he describes as laziness following his PGA Championship triumph last season.

Morikawa was the toast of the golfing world last year as two PGA Tour wins and August's PGA Championship title, all within 14 months of turning professional, catapulted him into the top five of the world rankings.

However the 23-year-old then missed the cut in three of his next five starts with the defintive wake-up call coming when he missed back-to-back cuts at the US Open and the Shriners Hospital for Children Open.

"Simple answer is that I got lazy," said Morikawa, currently ranked world number four.

"It wasn't like I wasn't practicing or anything, I was still grinding, but after the PGA win, I felt like good golf should happen.

"You just can't get lazy and start expecting things. I did not re-set my goals quick enough after the PGA Championship.

"That's what I learned in 2020. I need to keep resetting my goals. Last year, I did a great job until August and even though I checked many of the goals I set at the beginning of the year, I need to keep setting the bar higher."

American Morikawa is one of the most consistent golfers in the world, and with three top 10 finishes in his last three appearances, the Las Vegas native has made the long journey eager to make his European Tour starts count.

Morikawa took up his European Tour membership last year and had a chance to win the Race to Dubai without taking part in any full-field event. He is missing the Farmers Insurance Open this week on the PGA Tour, which carries Ryder Cup points.

"I can't play a full schedule, but if things go right and I am able to add a couple of tournaments here and there, I definitely would," said Morikawa, who was tied 10th in the 2020 DP World Tour Championship to finish fifth on the European Tour's Race to Dubai.

"I'm coming out here to win and I don't care if I'm getting Ryder Cup points or not. Well, the Ryder Cup is huge. But that doesn't take anything away from this event. That was never even a thought.

"The tournaments that have Ryder Cup points ... good, I'm going to go out there and play and try and win them too. But I'm out here solely focused on trying to win this week."

Morikawa is the highest ranked player in the field this week. Also hoping to contend and secure a second straight win is world number five Tyrrell Hatton of England, winner on sunday of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.