Collin Morikawa came to Japan this week with a simple goal of ending his winless drought in the country where his father’s parents grew up and cruised to a seven-stroke victory with a bogey-free 7-under 63 on Sunday to win the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship.
Morikawa, who is of Japanese and Chinese descent, claimed his sixth Tour title at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Chiba, Japan, 25 minutes northeast of Tokyo, and first since the 2021 British Open. The 26-year-old former Cal Bear notched his first worldwide victory since the 2021 DP World Tour Championship. Morikawa had recorded four runner-up finishes since his last trophy – including at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in January and the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July – and 14 top-10s, tied with Tommy Fleetwood for the most top-10 finishes during the last two seasons.
Speaking on the eve of the tournament during a press conference, Morikawa said, “Here’s one last chance for the season to kind of come off and finish off on a high note. I know what my goal is and I know what I want to do and accomplish this week is really just stand up and find a way to win.”
Morikawa grabbed the lead on Thursday with a 64 but struggled to 73 in strong winds on Friday. After starting 3-over through four holes on Saturday, Morikawa trailed by as many as nine strokes before rallying with birdies on five of his last six holes to shoot 66.
Two shots back heading into Sunday, Morikawa said his mindset for the final round would be to get off to a hot start and he did just that. Morikawa made birdies at the third and three of the last four holes on the front nine to shoot 30 and build a three-stroke lead at 11 under as Justin Suh, who held his first 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, chunked a chip at the fourth and made his second straight bogey. He stumbled to a final-round 74. Beau Hossler and Eric Cole, who played alongside Suh in the final group, faltered as well. Morikawa tacked on a birdie at No. 12, holing a 15-foot birdie putt, and at 15 and 18 to grow the lead to seven strokes and no one mounted a charge as he posted a 72-hole total of 14-under 266. Robby Shelton (65), Ryo Ishikawa (67) and Beau Hossler (71) shared second.
Morikawa, who won twice in his first eight starts in the majors, had…