By Amy Tennery
(Reuters) – World quantity six Collin Morikawa goes into the PGA Championship in South Carolina this week hungry to mount a title defence and show his early profession main triumph was no fluke.
The 24-year-old American put the golf world on discover in August when he broke by way of a jam-packed leaderboard to safe a two-shot victory at Harding Park in solely the second main begin of his profession.
Now he should harness his game to tame Kiawah Island’s seaside Ocean Course, the place even a slight a shift within the wind could make or break a competitor’s day.
“It’s definitely a ball striker’s course. You have to be able to control your ball,” he instructed reporters. “You have to be able to flight different shots, work it left to right, right to left, and that kind of suits me.”
His lack of expertise is an plain drawback, regardless of logging a apply spherical on the course final month.
“There’s guys out here that have had way more experience on this golf course than I have,” stated Morikawa, recalling Rory McIlroy’s beautiful PGA Championship win by eight strokes there in 2012. “It’s just like coming to a new course even though I’m the defending champ. It’s a brand new golf course.”
However, the four-time PGA Tour winner has confirmed himself equal to a few of the sport’s hardest challenges, having navigated the notoriously tough Concession Club to win the WGC-Workday Championship in February.
“It helps any time you get on the golf course if you can control your ball flight and control your distance and spin,” two-time main winner and ESPN golf analyst Curtis Strange instructed reporters.
“Everything about him looks like he’s got it – nobody has this game figured out or any part of it figured out, but he looks like at such a young age, he is as mature a golf IQ as anybody that’s come along in a long time.”
The PGA Championship begins on Thursday.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Christian Radnedge)