Morikawa: St. Andrews lives and breathes through you

Fatiha Betscher
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Collin Morikawa after winning The 149th Open Championship (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Reigning Open Champion Collin Morikawa has again spoken of his delight in heading to St. Andrews for a first time in July for the 150th Open Championship.

Since capturing a second major last year on his Open debut at Royal St. George’s Morikawa has been asked often about heading to the Home of Golf for a first time, to defend the Claret Jug over the famed Old Course.

And now after the annual pre-Open media outing, and this year at St. Andrews, the American has again spoken of his delight in heading to the Auld Grey Toon.

“When it comes to St Andrews, there is obviously the history and everything it represents. The Home of Golf,” he said.

“I’ve never been to a golf course where really the entire town is encompassed around it like St Andrews. The love for the game. It breathes and lives through the town. That’s what I’m looking forward to experiencing.

“Places we go and play, golf is the highlight of that week, but there’s also other things going on in some cities that we go to.

“I look forward to going there and embracing everything. Being part of that town when everything is about The Open.

“Being defending champion at the 150th Open at St Andrews, you can’t script it any better other than being the defending champion at the 151st. Hopefully, I can pull it off with the energy of those fans. It would be very, very special to defend at the 150th Open.”

This year’s Open will be Morikawa’s second Open and just his 10th major appearance, and he was also asked what it’s like for him in defending a tournament, given he’s now won six times in his short pro career.

“I think anytime you’re defending a tournament, it’s always special, right? You’re coming back as the previous champion. You just know that you’ve done it before,” he said.

“But when we narrow that down to a major championship, especially being an Open, and you have a rotation of courses and you’re moving around, which is also kind of weird in a sense of its own because it’s not like I have previous history at St Andrews.

“There’s a million other guys before me that probably have played there, played well, and you can look at them as more experienced, more as a favourite because they have played there.

“But that’s the thing is that I’ve done this now for three years, and I keep showing up to new golf courses and I try and figure them out, and I just have to go out and play.

“When it comes down to it, it’s just more about am I going to be ready to go out there and play golf and play my game and just do what I do. That’s kind of dissecting the golf course from tee to green and hopefully make some putts for the week”.

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