HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The 2021 Sony Open is set to tee off this week at Waialae Country Club, featuring some of the top golfers on the PGA Tour, including Collin Morikawa who feels right at home on Oahu.
Morikawa was born and raised in California, but the 23-year-old has plenty of ohana on island that helps him comeback and compete each year.
“I love the Hawaii swing, anytime I can start in Maui and come to Oahu, you know, I’m going to be playing, obviously having family out here my entire dad’s side, it just makes things a little more special, makes it feel a little more like home, even though I never grew up here, I never lived here, it’s all part of it.” Morikawa told reporters. “Any time you have a tie to a location or a golf course, whatever it is, it just makes you want to win at that location a little more.”
The strong family ties also helped Morikawa last week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions on Maui — where his Hawaii ohana was originally from before island hopping to Oahu.
Like many local families, the Morikawa’s have cousins, upon cousins, upon cousins that Morikawa can’t keep track anymore.
“So many cousins; I lost count, they started in Maui, they used to have a restaurant called Morikawa Restaurant that was on Front Street, I had never been to it.” Morikawa said. “My dad used to go as a little kid when he would come but my dad was born in California, so a lot of our cousins now live on Oahu, they live on the island where the Sony Open is, we’ve come a bunch as a little kid, never lived here, now playing out here, you can tell the family ties are just getting stronger and stronger.”
The 2021 Sony Open will be the first full tournament held this year, but as a carryover from last year, no fans will be allowed at Waialae — a feeling Morikawa dearly misses.
“You know, I think as golfers, with all the fans, it’s cool because they line the fairways,they block off greens with grandstands and everything and it creates a whole different sense of the golf course.” Morikawa said. “Guys have to adjust to certain courses like Augusta without grandstands, without fans, without whatever’s out there, and you know, that’s just all part of it because when you’re a golfer, you’re one person standing in the middle of the fairway with thousands of people around you, and we just haven’t seen that, and that’s a whole different dynamic.”
Morikawa is the highest ranked star in this years field at fifth place in the world, he is also projected to finish well at the Sony.
The 2021 Sony Open tee’s off Thursday at Waialae Country Club — catch all of the action on the Golf Channel.