Each generation of golfers is defined by one truly great player. From Palmer to Nicklaus to Tiger, these greats have smashed records and set new ones that seem difficult to beat. But with Tiger getting older, the question now becomes: who’s next?
Now, there seem to be a lot of people who could fit the bill. Young Jordan Spieth had quite the showing as a 21-year-old in 2015, a year that culminated in his winning of the FedEx Cup. However, since then, he appears to have been in a slump, winning just one major and only showing a few signs of coming back. Brooks Koepka won 4 majors in the span of 3 years, and has remained at the top of world golf rankings for the majority of the last few years; but it took him till 27 to appear on the scene, 6 years older than Tiger was.
But there is one.
Collin Morikawa‘s win at Muirfield Village over Justin Thomas was a historic one. He became the second player after Tiger to have won multiple tournaments before missing his second cut. Additionally, his stretch of 22 cuts made to start his career was just 3 short of Tiger’s record of 25 straight.
Morikawa’s consistency off the tee and into greens is almost identical to that of young Tiger’s. Morikawa has hit 70.5% of greens in regulation this season, and Tiger hit 70.6% in his first full season on tour in 1997. Furthermore, Tiger hit 66.3% of fairways in his first year, and Morikawa has hit 65.8%, proving his ability to hit accurate drives and approach shots, arguably the two most important skills any aspiring golfer needs to hone in to succeed at any level of the game.
Unfortunately, Morikawa is still young. He missed out on golden opportunities to prove his worth this year, as all 4 majors have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, statistics to compare him to Tiger are hard to come by.
But don’t count him out. He’s shown that he has what it takes.
Photo: PGA Tour