Collin Morikawa featured by DraftKings and Autograph in “The Future Is…” NFT Collection


The PGA TOUR has several exciting young stars on the rise, but none of them have proven their ability to succeed on the biggest stage more than Collin Morikawa. Morikawa is still only 25 years old but has already won several major tournaments and proven he is ready to compete and fight at the biggest events. He should be among the best golfers in the world for many years to come. At just 5-foot-9 with a soft-spoken demeanor, he’s far from the loudest or biggest player on the PGA TOUR, but his consistent excellence and proven track record allows his game to speak louder.

Morikawa is the next athlete to feature in the new series of NFTs from Autograph and DraftKings available in the DraftKings Marketplace as part of an exciting series called “The Future Is…”. Each featured athlete will be highlighted by three NFTs that will present challenges that will unlock utility and rewards, enhancing the NFT experience over the course of several weeks. The challenges allow community members exclusive access and reflect the passions of the athletes, from style to shoes and cars. The designs of the NFTs were made in collaboration with up-and-coming artists to bring distinct creativity to the next generation, and so they are incredibly trendy. Be sure to check them out in the DraftKings Marketplace.

Morikawa was born just north of Pasadena, California on February 6, 1997. He started playing golf at an early age, and when he was just 5 years old, his parents got him an exception to attend a junior golf camp. on the public course of Scholl Canyon Golf Course in nearby Glendale. It was there that he met his golf coach, Rick Sessinghaus, who is still with Morikawa to this day. Sessinghaus and Morikawa collaborated to hone an approach to the game that feels “old school,” but has triumphed on modern tracks. While some current pros think about things scientifically, Morikawa has developed a much more artistic approach and has proven he can use a variety of shot forms and creative perspectives to find his way around the course in a way that makes sense to him. led to consistently succeed. .

Morikawa basically had a straight line to success, which is almost unheard of in any sport, but especially golf. He stopped playing other sports at age 10 and quickly made a name for himself with an accomplished career as a junior. He was recruited from several colleges and eventually chose Cal-Berkeley, where he played for the next four years. He had a strong freshman year, but emerged on the national scene in the summer of 2016 when he won the Sunnehanna Amateur.

He played his first professional event the following week at the Tour’s Air Capital Classic on what is now the Korn Ferry Tour. Not only did the 19-year-old make the cut, but he posted back-to-back seven-under rounds on the weekend to skyrocket in the standings and fight his way to the playoffs. He lost to Ollie Schniederjans but definitely established himself as a rising star. Even after this near miss, Morikawa opted to return to school and maintain his amateur status. Over the next three years, he won five college tournaments, including the Pac-12 championship, in addition to scoring amateur victories at Western Junior, Trans-Mississippi Amateur, Sunnehanna Amateur, and Northeast Amateur.

He not only stayed in school for golf, but also applied, was accepted, and graduated from Haas Business School, the #3 undergraduate business program in America, according to US News & World Report. . He stayed in school and earned his business degree while climbing to the top spot in the amateur ranks for three weeks in May 2018.

After graduating and turning pro, it didn’t take long for Morikawa to show he was at home on the PGA TOUR. In his debut in June 2019, he finished tied for 14th at the RBC Canadian Open. After making the cut at the US Open and the Travelers Championship, he finished tied for second at the 3M Open and fourth at the John Deere Classic, securing his PGA TOUR membership after just four events. The next time he started, he earned his first win as a professional by winning the 2019 Barracuda Championship, which was the opposite-court event held the same week as the Open Championship. Morikawa birdied the final three holes to take the win on just his sixth start after turning pro. Morikawa continued to perform well the rest of his rookie season and made 22 consecutive cuts to start his career, the second longest streak to start a professional career behind only the 25 cuts made by Tiger Woods.

Morikawa and the PGA TOUR were forced to go on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but when play resumed the youngster returned to the top of the leaderboard, losing in the playoffs to Daniel Berger at the Charles Schwab Challenge, the first event after the return. Later that summer, he earned playoff success at the Workday Charity Open, where he beat Justin Thomas after closing a three-shot gap on the final three holes and sinking a par to win on the third hole of the playoffs.

Later that summer, just his second major tournament start, Morikawa picked up a win at TPC Harding Park just 30 minutes across the Bay Bridge from where he went to Cal University. -Berkeley. He became the third-youngest player to win the PGA Championship at age 23, and he did so in impressive fashion by scoring a final-round 64 that matched the lowest final-round score by a PGA champion, set by Steve Elkington in 1995. He was only the fourth player since World War II to win the PGA Championship before turning 24 and joining an illustrious list of Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Morikawa won by two strokes over Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson and three strokes over Scottie Scheffler, Bryson DeChambeau and Jason Day.

The following spring, Morikawa scored another big victory at the 2021 WGC-Workday Championship against an elite field in Florida in his first WGC event. He picked up his second career major win in the summer of 2021 on his Open Championship debut, held at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Kent, England. Morikawa is the only player to win two different majors in his first appearance and became the first player since Bobby Jones in 1926 to win two majors in his first eight career major starts.

After earning that victory in England, Morikawa spent the rest of the year continuing his success on the international stage. He finished tied for third at the Olympics, went 3-0-1 in a dominating Ryder Cup win for the USA, then won the Race to Dubai on the European Tour, thus becoming the first American player to win this title. He chased Rory McIlroy with five birdies in his final seven holes to claim the DP World Tour Championship. Morikawa led the PGA TOUR in Shots Gained: Approach in the 2021 season with 1,170 won. It’s the highest single-season average since Adam Scott in 2015-16.

In 2022, Morikawa is yet to claim a win but finished fifth at the Masters and tied for second at the Genesis Invitational. He finished in the top 20 in each of the five majors heading into last week’s PGA Championship in addition to finishing near the top of the standings in several events featuring the best fields on the toughest courses.

Off the course, Morikawa is engaged to his longtime girlfriend Katherine Zhu, who was also a top college golfer at Pepperdine. Both live in Las Vegas and are active in supporting several charities. One of the most important causes for Morikawa and Zhu is to help dogs in need. They raised several dogs during the COVID-19 pandemic while sheltering in Vegas and adopted their golden doodle Koa, who naturally an Instagram account and went viral when she supported Tiger Woods by wearing red on Sunday when Morikawa’s red shirt was delayed in transit ahead of Morikawa’s WGC-Workday Championship victory the same week Woods had a serious accident. Personally, I hope Koa makes an appearance in at least one of the NFT designs. Morikawa said he plans to start a charitable foundation, but didn’t say if it would support dogs in need or another good cause.

On the course, Morikawa is a true artist and excels above all in shooting. His irons and approach game are always sharp, and his work around the green is also near the top of the world. He doesn’t have the greatest length off the tee, but he’s definitely a master of the second shot. The one area that has always been a struggle for him has been putting. He admitted that working with the flatstick doesn’t come naturally to him, but when his putter doesn’t cost him too many strokes, it’s extremely hard to beat. The most predictive stat in golf has proven to be SG:Approach over the past few seasons, and Morikawa is still among the best in this metric. His unique approach and artistry make him an excellent choice to continue his success in the future.

Be sure to check out all the details on these unique NFTs in the DraftKings Marketplaceand enjoy Morikawa’s continued rise to stardom as the future of golf.


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