The build-up to this week’s $12.5m Genesis Invitational hosted by Tiger Woods at the renowned Riviera Country Club has been dominated by growing rumours around a Saudi Golf League with world number 2 Collin Morikawa the latest to pledge allegiance to the PGA Tour.
Morikawa was speaking as the golf twitter-sphere went into overdrive, fuelled by further speculation of a 12-event series featuring just 40 players and no cuts to be played at many Trump-owned destinations with up to 10 stops in the United States.
PGA Tour member Kramer Hickok told the StripeShow Podcast that 17 players had already jumped ship, with strong reports that Bryson DeChambeau is one of them, however, with so much uncertainty still abound, Morikawa was asked for his position ahead of teeing up at one of the Tour’s best stops at Riviera, and his answer would’ve been music to the ears of Commissioner Jay Monahan.
“I’m all for the PGA Tour,” Morikawa said, joining the likes of Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy in sticking with the Tour.
“I’ve been a pro for two and a half years. My entire life I’ve thought about the PGA Tour, I’ve thought about playing against Tiger, beating his records, whatever, something that might not even be breakable, but I’ve never had another thought of what’s out there.
“I’ve never thought about anything else, it’s always been the PGA Tour. Has it [SGL] opened up things for us as professional golfers for the PGA Tour to look at what to do better? Absolutely. We’ve seen a lot of changes, some good, some bad, some that are still going to be amended I’m sure as time goes on.
“Right now you look at the best players that I see and they’re all sticking with the PGA Tour and that’s where I kind of stay and that’s where I belong.”
“I’m very happy, I’m very thrilled to be here. It’s not distracting. I think a lot of guys are probably making the decision what to do, what not. A lot of uncertainties at least from my end. For me, I know I have a place right here, open arms, come out here and let’s play some golf.”
That’s not to say Morikawa, arguably the best iron player in the game right now and already a two-time Major champion at the age of 25, hasn’t been approached by the PGA Tour’s rivals.
“Yeah, there’s money. I don’t think anyone’s signing up for free, right? I mean, maybe they are. So yeah, there was money, but for me it’s thinking about where I am in the position I am today,” he reasoned.
“I’m 25, I’ve got a great life, I’ve got a great career so far. I’m enjoying it, I’m loving what I’m doing. The only way I can start thinking about other tours, other leagues, whatever you call it, I need concrete evidence.
“I need to be able to see a sheet in front of me and know what’s out there, right? And as of now, for what I know, I don’t know what’s out there. All I’ve heard are rumours, all I’ve heard is talk and that’s hard to do, right?
“That’s like asking everyone here to go join another media company and I’m just going to tell you, ‘oh, I promise you there’s going to be this, there’s going to be this,’ but you only heard it not from me, not from who’s starting it, but just from other people.
“It’s kind of hard to know what exactly is there until I see it concrete and that’s just not how I live my life. I need details, I’m really specific about things, and from my end I couldn’t get what I needed and here we are.”
Instead, it sounds like Morikawa, much like the rest of us, has taken a seat on the side-lines, watching this all play out and waiting in anticipation to see who jumps ship first.
“Of course. Aren’t we all? We’ve all heard rumours of this date, this date, in the future. I’m ready for it. Why not,” Morikawa smiled.
“Like we’ll call them out, like what are they waiting for? I don’t know. I saw something this morning that said someone had an interview with a player and there’s other things said about players signing up. There still have been no names.
“Once again, we go back to evidence, right? Can we see concrete evidence of what’s going on? If we can, then people can make decisions. It’s an unknown, it’s a hidden thing. For me, it’s not enough.”