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After 'life-changing' major win, Collin Morikawa says fame won't change him

2020 PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa talks to Shane O'Donoghue about his amazing professional start and his desire to not let his "life-changing" major win change the man he is.

Posted: Jan 7, 2021 5:31 PM
Updated: Jan 7, 2021 5:31 PM

After the RBC Canadian Open in June 2019, Collin Morikawa was ranked 1039th in the world having finished tied for 14th.

A little over a year later, in August 2020, he was golf's fifth highest-ranked player.

His shock victory that month at the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco -- finishing two shots ahead of Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey in only his second major outing -- catapulted him to the top of the game and into mainstream recognition.

Morikawa, who admits the victory at the PGA was "very life-changing," is adamant the fame that has come with it won't "change who I am."

"A lot of opportunities are given to you, a lot more sponsorships, people being aware of who you are," he told CNN's Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue.

"I feel like I'm still the same 23-year-old kid that you guys call me. I've got a smile on my face, and I love food, and I hope that's me for the rest of my life."

While many players might have been sated by that victory, that is not the case for Morikawa.

"It didn't feel like I checked that box off of winning a major championship and I'm satisfied with the rest of my career. It just made me want more," he said.

"Now, whether I'm at a major championship or a regular event, European Tour event, whatever it might be, I want that winning feeling because when you win, it's just a feeling that you can't describe, especially in golf, with us really losing more than we win."

READ: How Dustin Johnson's speedy approach could help golf's pace of play

A global player

Having initially broken onto the scene in the US with victories on the PGA Tour, Morikawa is now looking to take his game around the globe.

"If you look at the history of golf, there's a lot of global players and those are the ones that are well-known," he explained.

"It speaks a lot to their personalities as a person, but it also speaks a lot about their games. They're able to adjust. That's all about golf, adjusting to what we're given ahead of us."

On the European Tour, Morikawa finished fifth in the 2020 Race to Dubai and will be traveling back to the emirate this month as one of the headliners for the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic, which is set to start on January 28.

Taking to the course alongside 2017 winner Sergio Garcia and European Ryder Cup heroes Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose and Tyrrell Hatton, the Californian's skills will be put to the test at the Emirates Golf Club.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features, and videos

"My entire life, it's always been about consistency. I've said that since day one, I believed in myself that I could do it, but I've only tested myself out really in the US on the PGA Tour," he said.

"And what better way to come out here on the European Tour, the Race to Dubai, and really make a statement for myself to show that my game travels. At the end of my career, I want to look back and be able to say that it does."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 293542

Reported Deaths: 6638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19560229
Hinds18674385
Harrison16512276
Rankin12595262
Jackson12451217
Lee9663160
Madison9400195
Jones7891145
Forrest7140136
Lauderdale6784225
Lowndes6008137
Lamar584480
Lafayette5707113
Washington5159128
Bolivar4594120
Oktibbeha439991
Panola426892
Pearl River4116128
Warren4114113
Pontotoc407368
Marshall399492
Monroe3980126
Union392873
Neshoba3767166
Lincoln3464100
Hancock339973
Leflore3358118
Sunflower317185
Tate300874
Pike298393
Scott292567
Alcorn290360
Itawamba288871
Yazoo283862
Tippah275665
Copiah274557
Coahoma272766
Simpson271778
Prentiss268658
Leake251770
Wayne251340
Marion250778
Covington247878
Grenada245876
Adams233277
George230645
Newton224751
Winston220275
Jasper211844
Tishomingo211765
Attala206269
Chickasaw200650
Holmes181670
Clay178149
Stone171429
Tallahatchie169839
Clarke168671
Calhoun156428
Smith151831
Yalobusha142936
Greene126833
Walthall123540
Noxubee122729
Perry121434
Montgomery121237
Lawrence119321
Carroll117623
Amite110832
Webster109929
Jefferson Davis100531
Tunica98623
Claiborne97729
Benton93124
Humphreys91626
Kemper89522
Quitman77014
Franklin75519
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61427
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491110

Reported Deaths: 9831
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson706291356
Mobile35894721
Madison32255442
Tuscaloosa23996409
Montgomery22462494
Shelby21820215
Baldwin19670274
Lee14900150
Morgan13599249
Calhoun13175285
Etowah13143319
Marshall11226206
Houston10048259
Elmore9337183
Limestone9335134
Cullman8869179
St. Clair8783220
Lauderdale8581210
DeKalb8429174
Talladega7481163
Walker6504251
Jackson6477102
Autauga620389
Blount6086125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5230102
Dale4621106
Russell401831
Franklin397876
Covington3956106
Chilton384298
Escambia377172
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke342949
Dallas3397141
Chambers3392108
Pike293071
Lawrence281384
Marion280894
Winston246166
Bibb244260
Geneva238670
Marengo233354
Pickens223954
Barbour209951
Hale208868
Fayette199756
Butler195165
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe165938
Randolph163140
Washington156634
Crenshaw143554
Clay143354
Macon140943
Cleburne136839
Lamar131732
Lowndes130648
Wilcox120825
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98431
Coosa87823
Greene87032
Choctaw54823
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