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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Collin Morikawa Becomes British Open Champion With Fresh Approach

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ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Just 17 years ago, a golf coach at the end of the driving range in Glendale, California, saw an 8-year-old boy and his parents walking toward him. The kid pulls his golf bag the amazing way kids pull a golf bag. Parents had a serious question something like: Hey, do you mind working with our son? He has taken some group classes, but we understand you work with some very good junior golfers.

Over the course of the next decade, this routine emerged: boy, coach and father squatting in a stroller during weekly lessons at the par-3, nine-hole with terrain teaching is undervalued, all the while the father suggests nothing, never interferes and is always learning – that’s for sure. among the best sports parents in the history of sports parents checkered. “It’s like he’s there as a support system, which I feel very refreshing about,” the coach said in Los Angeles in May.

It hasn’t been too long since then, and Collin Morikawa arrives at the British Open for the 150th time as defending champion. He came in as a two-time big winner at the age of 25 who won PGA . Championship and British expansion on his first try. He arrives as a pressure-relationship player who has earned praise from golfing intellectuals as the best since Tiger Woods. He came across as such a good player that a year of “break” spent wondering about the shape of his shots also included six top five finishes, including the Masters. and the US Open. Everyone should have such vacation years.

“I woke up this morning and watched it,” he said Monday of the wine jug, which he has traditionally abandoned. “The replica is beautiful, but it’s not the same. It really isn’t. It will never be like that.”

Then follow the methodology: “But I don’t want to stay in the past.”

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For those who have a headache from some good places in the past, this skyrockets, possibly even as a bait for sports coaches and parents. It exemplifies three factors in ascending order: a coach who is so honest and listening that you might want him to start coaching your life, justified parents, people who that everyone restrains those typical parents and, above all, a man who retains two important elements for all purposes of pursuit: curiosity and possession of missteps.

“I think he accepted that asking questions is not a weakness,” the coach, Rick Sesshaus, said of Morikawa. “Some people will say, ‘If I ask a question, people will know [I don’t know]. ‘ No. He’s looking at it like, “No, I need to do that.”

Of course, that “some” includes many, but Sesshaus viewed Morikawa at the 2021 Ryder Cup as a two-time big winner seeking green reading advice from Harris English and Fred Couples. He learned how Morikawa got his pointer to the Bermuda lawn mower in Florida from Paul Azinger – then won the tournament that week. The placing method changed when Morikawa queried 65-year-old Mark O’Meara, a two-time grand slam winner in Las Vegas, where Morikawa resides.

Even more so, he was always watching.

“Yes, I am like a silent hunter,” Morikawa said in May. “I don’t really like to ask questions and just like to chatter and annoy these people. I just watched from afar, it sounded creepy when I said it. But that’s what I do. Xander Schauffele moved to Vegas and we just started playing together. … You just catch and you watch how others do it. It doesn’t have to be Xander. It could be any guy. …

“When you play at team events like the Ryder Cup, you just have to watch and there is a lot of knowledge there that if you just sit back and really listen, you can gain a lot and learn a lot. ask a lot about what they do and what makes them great. That doesn’t mean I’m going to copy them, because at the end of the day, there’s no way for me to copy what they do because they feel completely different. What they tell me may not be exactly what they feel. It’s just putting things together and getting yourself to think in a different way.”

He won two of the first eight majors he played but will forever resist stagnation. He’s always been so excited about learning every day, that Saginghaus comes home to his wife and says he’s found 12-year-old Morikawa like never before: “This is a student who shows focus, who show up with a smile, people who appear to ask relevant questions, people who love to compete, like to compete, never make excuses. I would say, ‘I never went around that whole package.’ I was competing around. I’ve been walking around [other attributes]. But not the whole package at that age, and then have supportive parents, I would say, “This is different.”

Blaine and Debbie Morikawa belong to the group of happy parents who don’t play much golf, don’t have the slightest bit of knowledge and, above all, don’t covet the kid’s medals and questionable compliments that come with the passing of children. may accompany them. “They always look at it like, ‘Hey, did you have a good time? Do you like it?’ “Saginghaus said. “I never heard them say to me: ‘Hmm. Why hasn’t Collin won a tournament in the last two months? ‘ in juniors. Because this happens all the time. ‘My child should hit that person. They are not good. ‘ All these expectations, things like that. Instead of saying, ‘Well, does your son or daughter even like this game?’ That took away a lot of them. “

At the time Greg Venger, a baseball and football coach of two decades and athletic director at high schools and colleges, spent a year coaching his golf at La Cañada High. north of Los Angeles, he received Morikawa’s senior year.

“The attitude itself, it’s something I’ve never seen from anyone I’ve coached, or as an AD, I’ve never seen it like that,” Venger said. “I’ve seen kids come up close, but it’s not like that. It’s different, and the way people are attracted is something I’ve never seen before – it’s not.

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“And, again, I had a very short time watching this, which to me was even like, ‘Wow, what’s going on with this kid?’ And it drew me in.”

Saginghaus wanted to emphasize something more: the absence of excuses.

Morikawa once went to a grassroots event in Florida and didn’t play well. He turned around and quickly said, “Rick, I need to work on flattening my iron,” said Sesshaus. “’You know, the wind is pretty fierce; I’m not used to that and I lost control of the ball’s flight, and we had to work on that. ‘ Again, in contrast to most juniors; they would come to me and say, ‘Yes, I shot it because it was too windy.’ And they’ll just leave it at that. So they will blame the wind for the score. He said: ‘I scored that goal. My skills don’t match what’s needed. We have to work on that, so next time I’ll be better. ‘ So now he wants a PGA Tour event to be as smooth sailing as possible, because he’s improved that skill set, because he’s mastered that. You know what I mean? So it’s the difference that makes the difference.”

The coach calls it “a continuous feedback loop of learning,” not judging what just happened but with curiosity about how to improve what just happened. “Maybe you end up doing the same thing,” Morikawa said, “but you get there by a different route. You got there in a way I never thought possible – my hands are here either doing this or stacking the ball. There are just so many things that I can still improve on. “

As sons, coaches, and fathers cram into their carts in their constant learning loop, they do so at the beautiful, unpretentious Chevy Chase Country Club set in the hills of California. Glendale, which Saginghaus finds ideal even with its whole par-3.

Prior to his PhD in applied sports psychology, he was a quarterback (in college) and catcher, always interested in solving situations – third and first, male on one and two. He was shocked to learn that golf is trained differently, usually by someone standing at one range and perfecting the swing over and over again – from a mat! At Chevy Chase is a situational wonderland, with the lack of crowding on the field allowing you to take lots of pictures without the next group pushing from behind, and with the slopes and trees and all even what doesn’t allow to create multiple poses and solve serial problems. From there has grown into one of the best short games in the world.

They now have Morikawa pieces on the front of the desk in the gift shop and have some palpable energy upgrades when he stops by. And now, around the world in the birthplace of golf, he is the reigning champion of the most important British Open ever. “And it was very surreal,” says Saginghaus. “Very, very surreal” – even if it makes a lot of sense.

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I am passionate about journalism and using new technology to spread news. I am also interested in politics and economics, and I am always looking for ways to make a difference in the world. I am the CEO of Janaseva News, and I am 24 years old.

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