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November 21, 2021

Collin Morikawa

Dubai, UAE

Jumeirah Golf Estates

Press Conference

NEIL AHERN: Many congratulations, winner of the DP World Tour Championship, and first American to be crowned in The Race to Dubai. Quite an emotional moment for you. Can you explain to us how you're feeling right now.

COLLIN MORIKAWA: It's so special. You know, I came here last time, first time to Dubai, obviously not having played too many European Tour events, and I told everyone that I wanted to come out here and win: Win the and win The Race to Dubai and win the DP World Tour Championship, and I had it in my control this week. Obviously if I won, I would have sealed the deal, and that's all I focussed on really.

I couldn't really get my head too focussed on The Race to Dubai. I knew there were many, many scenarios that could have happened. But I wanted to come out here and win. I felt like my game has been in a really good spot over the past kind of the last month and a half since The Ryder Cup, so you know, overall, it's just an amazing win, really special.

NEIL AHERN: Could you pick out one moment where, this was it? Was it 17?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: When I made the turn at 9, I knew I was three back at that point. The lead was not really stretching past 14 at that point. I knew I was still in it. I had played 10 and 11 so bad all week, and I continued to play 10 and 11 so bad. Shooting even par on those two holes when you're hitting driver wedge, iron, wedge, isn't great.

But I had that just kind of snap in the moment on 12, and very tough hole; was able to make birdie. Just seeing those couple good shots, seeing that putt go in, just kind of propelled what was to come.

17 obviously was huge. I knew maybe 15 was going to be close but 15 was not going to be enough. 16 was not going to be tough. I mean, 15-, 16-under, so you know, I just wanted to keep making birdies and hit some really good quality shot coming in on 18, and 17, as well.

Q. It's been an amazing year for you, you've won three times, now winning The Race to Dubai, you played a fabulous Ryder Cup. What on earth do you do for an encore next year?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Win more. It's not an encore. It's not a swansong farewell to what I'm doing in 2021. I'm going to set some high goals high. I always have. I'm going to set the bar as high as I can get and keep going.

I'm still not No. 1 in the world. I still have a lot to work on in my game. Obviously this week was good. I still thought I wasn't playing amazing, but I made do. I was able to make some putts here and there. Hit some great chip shots. Made up-and-down and made some crucial par saves out here and that's what you need.

So I still think there's a ton to work on. That's just kind of the nature of how my mind works and how I work: I just want more. I know I'm going to enjoy this one a lot, especially since it's at the end of the year, but there's a lot more from me hopefully.

Q. You mentioned being World No. 1 there. I believe you're playing in Tiger's event. If you win that, you would go to No. 1 for a week, and Jon Rahm would take it back. Are you aware of that and how high a priority is getting to No. 1?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I am definitely aware of that. Hopefully we can get there, you know, even if it's just for that one week. I'm sure we're still going to have many chances hopefully come next year.

And it's been a goal. It has been a goal since before I could even remember and started talking about turning professional, and then want to go play golf is that you want to be the best in the world, right. And I've been very lucky. I've played very well. I've done some good things so far.

But you know, it takes a lot to get to No. 1 in the world. You need to be a well-rounded golfer, a well-rounded person to get there, and there's been a lot of great players that haven't and that just shows how tough it is.

So hopefully we can use this as momentum into the Bahamas in a couple weeks, get some well-needed rest in December, and then get started for the beginning of the year.

Q. Are you aware that as European No. 1, you have to play for Europe in The Ryder Cup?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Oh, that's so unfortunate because that is not going to happen (laughs).

Q. It's in the bylaws. There's nothing I can do about it.

COLLIN MORIKAWA: I'll stick with U.S. ties; I promise you that.

Q. I just wanted to ask you how much appreciation you have for golf history and how much will you wonder about what you have managed to achieve today as a first American winner of The Race to Dubai?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I respect history and I respect it all. My mind does not remember a lot of historical facts, even when it comes to golf.

But this one is going to be special, right, first American to win The Race to Dubai. Yeah, you know, I don't really know what to say. It's an honour, right. There's been son Americans that have been so great for this sport, so great for this game.

But to close out the season-long race, The Race to Dubai, it means everything. Obviously I won some big events, and that obviously helped catapult me up to the top. There are still a lot of scenarios that could have happened, especially today on this final round. Guys are not giving up, and I knew those guys that had a chance to possibly win and kick me out that have first spot, they weren't going to give up. You saw what Matt Fitzpatrick did. You saw what kind of competitor he is, just going out and trying to make as many birdies as possible.

Q. Now you go to Tiger's event in the Bahamas. What kind of a mindset will you try to go there with knowing that you have actually almost finished your season and you have achieved so much? What kind of mindset will be there when you go to Tiger's event?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I don't remember the last time I thought about having an off-season, and to be honest, this month, this four weeks that I have, I'm still going to be busy.

I don't know, I just hope to relax, right. I've done a pretty good job. Coming up into this week, I took about a week and a half, almost two weeks off in my three-week break. Sometimes you need to step away. You need to get your mind refreshed and get away. I was able to go to Canada with my girlfriend and just step away and just enjoy time, just enjoy being 24.

You know, it was a lot of fun, but when I was able to get prepped and get ready for this event, I put everything I could into it because I wasn't taking this lightheartedly. I wanted to come out and have my best game, be best, be sharp and thankfully I was.

Q. About you getting so emotional out there, I've not seen you that emotional even after winning major championships. Can you tell us something about that?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, you know, I said it since my first win this year about my grandfather, losing him, and I thought it was right just to talk about him and to use the three wins and continue that, right.

You know, sometimes we believe in things for a week, a day. You know, look, it's almost 2022. I'm sure a lot of us will have a bunch of New Year's resolutions that will die by January 2nd, and I think that's something important that I was very lucky to spread that kind of message hopefully throughout the year of just giving thanks, right. It does mean a lot, and I miss him.

Q. Obviously your technical gifts are very obvious. Just wondering, the mental game, how much store do you put on that, how much did it help you today, and can you think of an instant where it was a big help to you?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, the mental game, look, nearly 50 percent, if not more than the physical game in our sport, and that's what's great about this wonderful sport we play is it's not just physical; it is mental. You have to keep yourself in it.

We're out here for four, five hours, and your mind can wander and it's okay to wander. But when you're over that shot you have to get focussed.

From hole 1 on Thursday, I was ready to play golf. And that's a big thing, getting off to a good start, getting off playing well in the first round; that sometimes I necessarily don't do. So it was important for me to make sure I played the front nine well and played the first few holes well.

I think the first few days I think I was 3-under through nine and today I think I was 1-under. So you know what, got off to a pretty good start and that's what you want; you want to be ready by hole one. That's kind of what the Ryder Cup taught me is be ready once you set foot on that tee box; you can be ready, but you have to be mentally ready to really try and win this tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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