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Collin Morikawa using Claret Jug return as inspiration to win again

Collin Morikawa using Claret Jug return as inspiration to win again

Collin Morikawa admits it was difficult returning the Claret Jug to St Andrews ahead of The 150th Open Championship but is hopeful that the desire to win it again can push him to even greater heights.

Collin Morikawa

The American's victory at Royal St George's last season was his second Major Championship win and helped him top the DP World Rankings in Partnership with Rolex as he became the first American to lift the Harry Vardon Trophy.

Add in a Ryder Cup victory and a World Golf Championships title and the 25-year-old has already enjoyed a career that would be envied by most players twice his age.

But Morikawa has no intention of slowing down and is aiming for a successful defence to give him a first win since he triumphed at the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai in November.

“It sucked. It really did," he said of returning the trophy. “I woke up this morning and looked at it. The replica is beautiful, but it’s not the same. It really isn’t. It will never be.

“But I don’t want to dwell on the past. I think I’ve talked about that early on in my career. I always look forward to what’s next. Maybe hopefully just giving it back kind of frees me up and allows me just to focus on winning this week.

Collin Morikawa

“I am looking for something. We’re at the end of our (PGA TOUR) season. We’re at the fourth Major. Play-offs are coming up pretty soon. I want to give it a run.

“I’ve had a couple of second-place finishes and they’ve kind of been come-from-behind second-place finishes where I played really well on the final day.

“But I need to do a better job Thursday through Saturday to give myself a shot at trying to close out a tournament.”

Morikawa is playing The Old Course for the first time as a professional this week as golf's oldest Major celebrates its 150th edition.

He made the most of a bad situation by coming up to St Andrews on Saturday after missing the cut at the Genesis Scottish Open and while he has been caught up in the magic of the Home of Golf, he insists all his focus will be on his ball come Thursday.

Collin Morikawa

"I love it. I can see why guys love it," he said. "I can see how special this week can be. I can see how the course can play a million different ways, depending on the weather. Looks like we're going to get some pretty consistent weather and some wind patterns this week.

"I think overall you've just got to be ready to play some good golf out here because you're going to get some good bounces and probably some bad ones.

"You've got to embrace the history. You have to embrace everything. Everything that has happened before us.

"But I'm here to win a tournament. I'm here to play some really good golf. Even though my week is filled with the couple of extra media obligations and a couple of other appearances, that doesn't mean by Thursday morning I'll not be ready.

"I'm going to do everything I can, just like any other event I've played well in or won, to be waking up Thursday morning ready to play 72 holes of really good golf."

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