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June 14, 2020

Collin Morikawa

Fort Worth, Texas

THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with Collin Morikawa, runner-up at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Obviously not the finish you were looking for there, but can we get a comment on your strong play this week and today?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, it felt good, obviously coming after all this quarantine, I got some good practice in, and I thought I picked up really well from where I left off. I thought I was trending in the right direction after Bay Hill, after PLAYERS ended really quick, and I just had to remember everything from there. I thought I brought that this week. I thought my putting was really good. Really I hit two bad putts this week. One came obviously on the playoff, and the other one came on hole 14, I believe -- hole 12. But overall the game feels good. Yeah.

Q. How much confidence does this give you as we return from the three-month break?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: It gives me a lot of confidence. These are going to be some of the best fields out here. It's going to be obviously great play, great courses. I know many people have talked about the next few courses in line in the schedule, so I'm really excited for what's to come. But yeah.

Q. How would you say not having any fans out there today affected the atmosphere and the pressure down the stretch?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: You know, it was crazy different. I think fans bring so much of an energy, so much more excitement to the game, and that's why we love it. I think hopefully they loved it on TV. Obviously we're going to miss them for the first few events. But it's not crazy different from what I've had in college about a year ago. You've got a few people out here watching, and other than that, you're just out there playing golf trying to win a tournament. To not have fans was kind of reminiscent of what I had about a year ago, but I do miss them kind of lining everything because it brings a different energy, brings a different focus to everything.

Q. Collin, can you just talk about that birdie putt on 18 to end the round, and obviously on the playoff hole, just kind of how do you make sure you move past those and don't let those linger too long for you?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, you know, on 18 I actually hit a really good putt, and granted, it was a really bad misread. I should have brought my caddie in. I hadn't been bringing him in that much throughout the week, but it was one of those putts out here that it just was really into the grain, really right to left, and I just didn't read that because I wasn't reading it that much throughout the entire week, to be honest. I hit a really good putt on 18. Yeah, I'm going to have my head down after that because it was a putt pretty much to win it, but everything from there on was a good putt. So as long as I'm starting it on line, I'm confident. Granted, what happened on the playoff hole was just not a good putt. It was firm right and everything that couldn't have happened.

Q. This is your first Colonial, obviously great finish, but kind of what do you like about the course and kind of what suits your eye?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: It's an awesome course. Unfortunately this is like three years in a row now that I've finished second. I've finished second at the Ben Hogan Award the past couple -- or tied for second, whatever you want to call it, as a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award. So I've been able to see the entire course the past couple years, kind of nine holes each year, and I loved it.

I thought the course fit me really well. It's a ball striker's course, had to hit it in the fairway, and it was crazy because it just didn't seem like I was hitting as many fairways as I normally do, which is something I'm going to have to work on the next week. But overall I think it fits my game really well. You've got to put it in the fairway, and from there it's an approach shot course. Putting was working, short game was working this week, so a lot of positives to take, especially after this three-month break into the next few weeks.

Q. Which runner-up was harder to take, this one or the two Ben Hogans?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: I'd say this one, yeah. This one I had full control. Yeah, it's going to be a little bittersweet. I know I'm going to have to look back at it before next week and see all the positives, but I'm also going to have to nit-pick what I did wrong this week because I wasn't playing amazing I didn't think. I was hitting every fairway and I had full control over my tee shots. So it's going to be something I just have to figure out. But this one bites a little harder.

Q. And a little bit more of a big picture question. Did this week feel historic given what we've been through and to get here?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: You know, a little bit. Obviously being one of the first sports back, live sports and everything, not having fans, I think we have a responsibility on our shoulders to really make sure we do everything, follow the rules, follow the guidelines. For the most part I think we all did pretty well. We're going to have to watch what we do because at the end of the day, I wanted to just give myself a hug, give my caddie a hug, just the entire week. It was a grind all week.

It's good to be back. I think we're really happy to be back. But yeah, it's going to be something I always remember because who knows the next time we're going to have three months off.

Q. Just kind of jumping off that last comment you had, could this week just in terms of everything being back, the TOUR, the fact that everybody tested negative, could it have gone any better in your eyes, and maybe what were some of your concerns coming in?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, no, it's a great question. I think there's going to be people that range from all different points of view, whether they're afraid, whether they're not afraid, and how do you put everyone together and have a balanced field of you've got to do this, you've got to do everything. I think what my concern was was that you're still going to have a bunch of people here no matter what. We're going to have hundreds of people on-site. But I think everyone went through the testing, everyone did what they needed to do, and hopefully just because we played one week doesn't mean we can go party and go do everything else like we used to. We still have to follow these guidelines and maintain safety and strict rules with how far we stay from each other because it's still out there. Obviously we don't know how bad it is at any given moment. We don't know who has it, if they have it, whether they're symptomatic, asymptomatic. We just have to be cognizant of what's around us and where we put ourselves because we want the TOUR to keep playing. We want to keep playing. Hopefully this just never stops. We've got months and months and months of golf up until the winter, so for me it's exciting to be back. It's exciting to be playing again, and I look forward to the next few weeks.

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