And now he’s in Japan for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as a part of a four-man Team USA delegation, trying to win the nation’s first ever Olympic gold medal in males’s single golf.
After ending in the prime 15 of the Olympic Golf Ranking at the shut of the qualification interval, Morikawa joined Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele and Bryson DeChambeau in receiving the honor of representing the US at the Summer Games.
Unfortunately for 2020 US Open winner DeChambeau, he has been compelled to withdraw after testing optimistic for Covid-19. He has since been changed by 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed.
Just over two years in the past, Morikawa was ranked 1,039th in the world having completed tied for 14th at the RBC Canadian Open in June 2019. Now, he’s a two-time major winner heading to the Olympics.
And he says he is prepared to soak all the things up whereas in Japan.
“(His pleasure) is thru the roof to actually take into consideration the place I used to be two years in the past as an beginner and the place I’m now in the world, all the things I’ve executed thus far,” he advised CNN Living Golf’s Shane O’Donoghue.
“It’s loopy to assume that I’ve this chance, but it surely’s one thing that I’m by no means going to take as a right. No one’s going to have the ability to take it away from me and to be representing Team USA, it is certainly one of the largest honors actually.”
Playing for his nation
While Morikawa is making his first look for Team USA, it isn’t his first time enjoying as a part of a staff in a golf event.
During his beginner profession, the 24-year-old participated in staff codecs at the Arnold Palmer Cup, the Walker Cup and the Eisenhower Trophy.
But competing at the Olympics as a part of Team USA goes to “prime all of that by one million occasions” due to the Games’ world attraction, in accordance to the world No. 3.
“For golf, we’re such a person sport. And despite the fact that the Olympics — yeah, we’re enjoying individually, and we’re making ourselves making an attempt to win gold or no matter. You’re enjoying on your nation and people have been the greatest reminiscences I made as an beginner,” he mentioned.
“And that is simply going to prime all of that by one million occasions as a result of it is on an expert stage, it is worldwide. So actually anytime you put on USA in your sleeve or your chest or wherever it could be, it is one thing that, it is all the time going to be with you.”
When the golf competitors kicks off on Thursday, July 29, at Kasumigaseki Country Club, Morikawa will likely be suiting up alongside three of the top-12 ranked golfers in the world.
As nicely as describing having “chills” when pulling on a jersey with the US flag embossed on it, the excessive caliber of the chosen gamers — and the gamers that missed out — showcases the power of American golf at the second.
“I feel it exhibits the power of younger golf and numerous younger gamers proper now. But all of us need to beat up on one another. I feel we attempt to try this. I have not actually talked to them since we have all made the staff, however I do know everybody’s excited to be on that staff.
“You cannot be on the staff and never be excited to represent Team USA as a result of I feel you ask any participant that is ever represented their nation — wherever they’re from — it is the largest honor, particularly since we play such a person sport, once we’re ready to be on a staff, um, it means that rather more to us.”
For Morikawa, coming to play in Japan will likely be a particular honor given his Japanese heritage.
Although his Japanese kin have moved to the US, being half Japanese and having a Japanese surname “positively resonates with lots of people” in the nation, says the two-time major winner.
“It’s cool to see folks simply in some way relate and see me: sure, I’m an American, however sure, I’m an Asian-American. And simply see alternatives and hope that folks that seem like me might have this chance to exit and make an Olympic staff.”
He remembers first making the journey to Japan together with his household in 2017 when he was in faculty, falling in love with the folks and tradition in the course of.
However, being a self-confessed foodie, it was the delicacies that basically grabbed Morikawa and is certainly one of the fundamental issues he is trying ahead to in Tokyo.
“I might eat sushi all day,” he gushed. “When we performed the ZOZO Championship (in October 2020), I bear in mind we have been on this little city round the airport, and I feel each participant went to this one sushi spot in it and fingers down, it is most likely certainly one of my favourite locations I’ve ever been to.
“Definitely, one thing I look ahead to,” he added.