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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Colm: With another major, Colin Morikawa on new path

Bobby Jones and Jack Nicklaus. Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth.

Add one more name with which Colin Morikawa is now associated with his remarkable performance through majors in a span of 343 days. This one is a bit out of left field, but it speaks to how much Morikawa has achieved in his short time on the PGA Tour.

He would be the first player to make his Ryder Cup debut since Andy North in 1985, who has already won two Majors.

It was different then, of course. Tour players had to serve an apprenticeship before members of the Americas became PGA and were eligible. North won the US Open twice before playing his first Ryder Cup.

“I think three years ago you could have started getting Ryder Cup points,” North said on Tuesday. “And then you had to go through three days of school. We had to test the rules. So a lot of players didn’t play as many Ryder Cups as you would think.”

For example, Nicklaus had already won seven Majors when he played his first Ryder Cup.

“She’s special,” said North, turning her thoughts back to Morikawa. “I was pretty much around him at the PGA Championship because there was no one there. He was the most mature, prepared player I have seen in a long, long time.”

And there’s still a long road ahead for the 24-year-old Californian.

There were too many obscure records that came with the silver claret jug he won at the Royal St George. Not because Jones has won two professional Majors in eight starts or fewer. Nicklaus, Woods, Spieth and Rory McIlroy are on the list of having two majors before the age of 25. Nicklaus, like Morikawa, won two of them when he was behind after 54 holes.

The numbers are equally impressive: a finish of 64 to win the PGA Championship at Harding Park last August, 66 on the final day to win the British Open on Sunday. He played his last 23 holes in the PGA and his last 31 in the Open without a bogey.

And he made his place in the record books as the first man to win two Majors while playing for the first time.

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