SAN FRANCISCO – Although the PGA of America’s decision to postpone the Ryder Cup until next year gives U.S. captain Steve Stricker some extra runway to select and prepare his team for the matches, he isn’t wasting any time.
Stricker played a practice round with Collin Morikawa, 23, on Monday at the PGA Championship in order to spend some “extra time to get to know some of these kids that potentially could make the team.”
Morikawa said Stricker reached out to him in June during the Travelers Championship to introduce himself.
“He told me, ‘Let's go play at the PGA,’ and of course I'm going to book that into my schedule,” Morikawa said. “To play with him and Davis Love was pretty special. Kind of just watch him play golf, because I love the way his short game goes, his approach shot, his chipping and putting, and just trying to learn off these guys.”
This process also taught Stricker a lesson. When he initially reached out Morikawa, didn’t answer the phone.
“I sent him a text and he didn't realize I was playing at Travelers,” laughed Morikawa, who is currently 11th on the U.S. points list. “I talked to him the next week when I had a week off.”