January 8, 2021
Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii, USA
Plantation Course at Kapalua
Q. I was just talking to Dan Berger and he said it was a very comfortable pairing for him. Same for you to have a player who hits a similar distance, strikes the ball as well as you do?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, Dan is an awesome guy. We have had a lot of good groupings so far throughout last year and it just makes it easy. We're in Hawaii. How could you not enjoy it? We were just kind of feeding off each other making birdies back and forth.
Q. Did you talk about on the 18 green, Hey, let's both finish in the same spot and we can do this again tomorrow?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: We knew one driver was a lot farther than the other. It was either going to be a perfect hybrid for me or a three iron depending on who was the farther one, and we just wanted to do our jobs there and make birdie.
Q. I'm going to ask you the same thing I asked him about starting the calendar year off here in Hawaii at Kapalua, this tournament. I mean, it's a special group of players. You got Dustin Johnson here, No. 1 in the world, Jon Rahm, yourself here, a major champion, just talk about playing with this group and how it motivates you to play well and charge up 2021 here.
COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, it's a great place to start. How could you not love Hawaii? I love it out here. I've got family out here. If we're starting out here in Maui every year, it means we're doing something right earlier on in the year and I just hopefully make a few more trips out here in my career.
Q. How would you assess your play out there today?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: Overall, the whole round was really good. Hit it well off the tee, struck it well, had one 3-putt, which kind of sucked, just kind of got away in the middle of the round. But other than that, I was putting really well, which was nice after yesterday.
Q. Daniel talked about how you were having a fun time kind of joking and feeding off each other. When you're kind of relaxed and playing like that with someone who is also playing well, does that kind of make it easier for you to play well?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: Absolutely. We were just kind of making birdie one after another and it helps. We feed off each other, we feed off each other's birdies, and that kind of just, as you can see it from the first hole all the way to 18, we just kind of did the same.
Q. Your second time here, have you learned something a little bit more from year one to year two about this golf course?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: I think I figured it out pretty well last year. Today we got a little lucky with how the wind kind of slowed down and we were able to hit little different shots and didn't have to work it as much. But out here you never know what you're going to expect. We could have wind pick up to 30, 35 tomorrow and you're just trying to hit middle of the green. So you just got to play each hole by what's in front of you.
Q. Do you feel like you're kind of the local guy here?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: I guess, yeah. There's a sense of home, I've been here a billion times. So it's nice, it is a vacation, but at the end of the day we are here to play some really good golf and I want to come out on top on Sunday and still have two more days to do that.
Q. I know you had a ton of family here last year, how many folks are here this year for you?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: Just my family, my girlfriend, they made the trip. And it sucks not having as many people and we miss all the spectators because that's where all the energy is, we have kind of missed it all through out last year and just had to adapt to what's been given to us.
Q. When you got that matchbook, did that kind of bring it home a little bit more for you? The matchbook from the restaurant?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I remember that. Yeah, it was pretty cool and just learned a little bit more about my history and kind of all of my family back here, just makes it a little more special every time I come back.
Q. Did it touch your heart a little bit that somebody read your story a little bit and then went out and found that matchbook on E-Bay?
COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I mean, I think it's cool to hear someone that's been to the Morikawa restaurant a long time ago and say that they have eaten there. I wish I could have been there, I wish it was still open, that would have been pretty cool on Front Street, but just to know I have history back here it's always going to be a special place.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports