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April 14, 2021

Collin Morikawa

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA

Harbour Town Golf Links

Press Conference

DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome Collin Morikawa to the virtual pressroom here at the RBC Heritage. You're making your second start here at the RBC Heritage so you've had a little bit of experience under your belt.

Just some thoughts on being back here at Harbour Town this week and thoughts on the course and your game, et cetera.

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, obviously it's been a while. Even though it was last, I think, June, feels like it's been a lot longer than that.

Yeah, I'm excited to be here. It's a course that I think really suits my game. A lot of tee to green, a lot of approach shots that are kind of in my wheelhouse.

But last year I struggled a little bit, especially after playing well the week before. Just had a few issues through the turf with my irons, but this year with a little more overseed.

We're in April now; everything feels really good. Game is feeling really good, especially after last week, so hopefully we start making a lot of birdies.

DOUG MILNE: You had three top 10s so far including your win at the World Golf Championships Workday. If you could just kind of assess the state of your game heading into the week and what you're feeling comfortable with.

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, I'd say the state of my game is really good. I'd say overall as a season it hasn't been as consistent as I wanted. It hasn't been that kind of consistent golf that I thought I would be playing week in and week out, but there's ups and there's downs and we're trying to figure things out.

Obviously I made a huge putter switch earlier this year in LA with the grip and everything, and everything feels great.

I think every week I'm learning something. I picked up on a few things from last week that even though that course plays completely different, about my game, about my head, how I go through certain shots. I think we're heading down a really good path.

Everything feels really good, and those are the weeks that you come out hopefully putting yourself in contention by Sunday.

Q. Just a little bit of a random question for you on the PGA Championship. I know you just did the media conference for that. On 16, had you tried to drive that green every day? And what has happened to the actual driver? Have you kept it, framed it or anything for posterity? What has happened to the actual club?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: I thought you were talking about Kiawah. My bad. The actual club, it's just sitting in my house. Definitely haven't framed it. Just sitting in a bag with a bunch of other clubs. I know which one it is. It's just -- yeah, it's just not me.

I throw it in a golf bag, put it aside, and I'm sure down the road I'll kind of look at it and be like, That's kind of the shot that changed everything, that kind of changed my career at that point at 23.

Q. Had you gone for that green every single day?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: No, I had went once. I think it was on a Friday. I wasn't planning on going for it at the beginning of the week, so I actually never even tried it. It was just something that -- everything fit, the circumstance, and made sense, wind and everything was perfect, and obviously it worked out.

Q. How much were you thinking -- I know this got mentioned the other day. How much were you thinking about Muirfield and having driven the green on 14 at Muirfield and then missed the eagle putt? How much were you thinking about that walking up to the ball thinking, This time I've got to actually convert?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: You know, I wasn't thinking about Muirfield. Obviously you had the feels. But what's crazy about Muirfield, the drive was so much more important than actually making that eagle putt. The eagle putt was important, but to be honest, since you said it, I haven't thought about that eagle putt since the tournament. That's how much like I was in the moment at that point.

For me, it was like, Yeah, there is similar feels, everything set up the same, but when you look at what kind of driver or driver hole that is for me on 16 at Harding, like it was literally perfect and it was just like made for me to hit a good shot there.

Q. You almost never hit a right to left shot; you're always kind of a left to right, kind of cut it in there?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: Yeah, unless you really have to or the wind is blowing off your left. I try to stick to my strengths and I try to do what I do best, and that's really work it from left to right.

Q. Collin, I'm sure no matter what advice you get ahead of time or after, there's no way to know how to handle the things that come after winning a major championship until you've done it. So let me ask the cheesy question of if Collin Morikawa in April could go back to Collin Morikawa on the Monday after Harding Park, what advice would you give yourself or what would you say, Hey, look out for this because this is the kind of thing you didn't expect would happen?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: To be honest, nothing. I wouldn't tell myself anything. I've done so much prep work on how to handle these things that everything that comes out of it, the opportunities, the media, everything, it's all good things.

Yes, you have to manage your time, and that's I guess one thing. How do you learn how to manage your time better, more efficiently. There's only so much time, so many off weeks we get throughout the year, and that's why we are drained after a three-week stretch, because we're on the road so much.

But overall like you can't tell yourself to do something for that because you really want to win. You want to be in those positions to have those opportunities, to talk to people, because that's when you are heard and that's when you can make waves amongst the golf world.

Q. Kevin Kisner was in here yesterday and he said something I thought was interesting. He's not that old a guy, but he was saying that the young players like yourself, he didn't mention you by name, but the young players in general, he thinks they're more prepared to win now than they were when he came up. You obviously already have a major, but even before that you've been really good with the media; you seem like you know what you're doing in interviews and things like that. What do you credit that to? Why is your generation more polished in that sense?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: You know, all the tools we have. Whether you're in school for one year -- but I stayed four because it was really important. Academics were always really important to me, so I stayed my four years.

That probably helped me in these talks with you and everybody else. But overall it's just a sense of belief. You go through these college programs and you see guys come out of them and have success on the PGA TOUR. You realize that they're kind of carving a path for you to do this, and we're carving paths for everyone, and kids, to realize that it's possible.

For us, the young guys coming out, we just believe that we can do it. Guys that are my age that haven't gotten to the PGA TOUR yet, they see me, they see Wolff, Viktor Hovland, a bunch of young guys come out and have success like what Will Zalatoris is doing, and they see that this is possible, and it's no different than playing golf with your buddies at home.

It's just on a bigger stage, and sometimes you have to get over that hurdle to really just understand that at the end of the day it is golf.

DOUG MILNE: You've had four wins and 42 professional starts. What would be the right word, surprised or impressed or maybe all of the above? Are you a little bit surprised at how much success you've garnered early on in your career?

COLLIN MORIKAWA: No, I wouldn't say I'm surprised. But as I look at it as a whole, like we talk about the consistency, and yes, the wins, people only look at the wins, but I look at it as a whole, and I want to be a lot more consistent.

I'm thrilled with my four wins. I'm not going to take those away from me, and no one will. Like that's what I want to keep and I want to keep winning, because at the end of the day that's what we're kind of defined by.

But overall like there's still so much for me to work on. I'm not surprised. I felt like I stayed all four years and I prepped for -- by the time I turned pro I was ready to come out. It's obviously paid a lot of dividends, and we have a lot more work to do, as well.

DOUG MILNE: Okay, we appreciate your time and wish you the best of luck this week. Thank you.

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