On Wednesday, Collin Morikawa got the big call. Like an NFL rookie on draft night, he picked up the phone to find Los Angeles Golf Club co-owner Alex Ohanian on the other end extending an invite to come suit up for the LA-based franchise of Tiger Woods’ and Rory McIlroy’s upstart TGL golf league. He said yes.
But that wasn’t all that he said. With cameras rolling, Morikawa stammered out something he probably shouldn’t have; something that, if true, probably says a lot about the state of U.S. team golf in November 2023. Check it out:
🚨🏌🏻♂️📱Collin Morikawa’s was ecstatic as he received the call to join @WeAreLAGC from @alexisohanian: “I just got chills through my body, I don’t think I’ve ever answered a call like this, I got my Ryder Cup call this year, but I think this tops it almost.”
— NUCLR GOLF (@NUCLRGOLF) November 1, 2023
“I just got chills through my body. I don’t think I’ve ever answered a call like this,” Morikawa said. “I mean, I got my Ryder Cup call this year, but this is… I think this tops it almost.”
As you’ve probably heard, the U.S. Ryder Cup performance in Rome a month ago was a disaster. Morikawa and co. were effectively finished by the start of Friday’s afternoon session and the rest of weekend was marred by ignominious benchmarks (including a record 9&7 defeat for Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler on Saturday) and rumours of internal friction.
Hat Gate needs no further embellishment, but Xander Schauffele was also reportedly unhappy with the terms of his offer and sought to renegotiate at the last second. It was messy. It was complicated. We’ll never know the whole truth, but Morikawa’s off-the-cuff claim on Wednesday sums up the vibes, or lack thereof, succinctly.
We’ll see if there’s more buy-in (literally) from the PGA of America in 2025 and if that reinvigorates players like Morikawa. If not, expect the Ryder Cup to matter less and less and big-money side gigs like the TGL to matter more and more. Call it greedy, call it unpatriotic, but that’s just capitalism, baby.