Collin Morikawa is of Japanese heritage and has traveled to the homeland of his ancestors before, but his trip to compete in the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship in Chiba, Japan, began with a special treat – dinner at Sukiyabashi Jiro, the first sushi restaurant in the world to receive three stars from the Michelin Guide, where the omakase tasting menu is served at the counter with just 10 seats and is determined in the morning each day by famed chef Jiro Ono, whose story was made famous in the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi.”
“I almost don’t want to have sushi again because it was that special,” Morikawa said during a pre-tournament press conference Wednesday. “Chef Jiro was actually making the sushi for us, which made it even that much more special. Just being able to get that reservation, going there, sitting down. … you have about 30 minutes to eat the food. Man, I don’t know how to explain it other than it just being an incredible experience and an honor to be there sitting in front of him and witnessing just talent, right? It’s artwork.”
Morikawa, a two-time major winner and ranked 20th in the world, is one of several big-name talents with Japanese ties competing this week at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in a 78-man field with no cut and co-sanctioned by the Japan Golf Tour.
While the other six FedEx Fall events largely are a battle royale to determine who finishes in the top 125 and keeps a Tour card for the 2024 season – with some battling to finish between Nos. 51-60 and earn an exemption into the first two signature events of the new year – the Zozo is a field that consists of 11 members of the Japan Golf Tour and 17 players in the top 50 of the FedEx Cup points list, who can’t improve their status for 2024.
Morikawa, who competed on the U.S. side in the Ryder Cup, is playing this week at what he calls “one of my favorite places in the world to be,” and is planning a multi-week trip in Asia with his wife on the back end. But first and foremost it’s a business trip for Morikawa, who is winless since the 2021 British Open.
“At the end of the day I want to win and I just haven’t been able to close that out yet and finish that off. Here’s one last…