Collin Morikawa can become world number 1

Collin Morikawa is chasing more than a sixth PGA TOUR victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions as the 24-year-old can become the second quickest player to reach world No. 1 at the Plantation Course. Morikawa needs a top three finish and some help from current No. 1 Jon Rahm to become just the 25th player to ascend to the top of the world since the Official World Golf Ranking was launched in 1986. In just his 62nd start as a professional Morikawa would be the second quickest player to get to the top, behind only Tiger Woods who took just 21 starts to make the move. Currently Jordan Spieth, with 77 starts, is the next best.

Collin Morikawa, situation

If Morikawa, who opened with a 5-under 68 on Thursday to be three off the lead, wins in Maui he needs Rahm to be placed lower than a stand-alone runner-up. Rahm was just a shot out of Cameron Smith’s lead after an opening 66.

Second place alone from Morikawa would be enough if Rahm placed lower than tied fifth with one other player while third alone would get the job done if Rahm placed lower than tied thirty-second with one other player in the 38-man field.

“It’s been a dream my entire life to get to No.1 in the world, but it’s not just about getting to No. 1 it’s about sustaining that,” Morikawa said earlier this week.

“And it’s not like that’s a peak… I get to No. 1 and I can go retire and relax on the beach, like there are still so many things that I’m going to keep pushing myself when that, if or when that does happen.

“Having an opportunity here, it’s all in my control, all I can do is try and win the tournament and that’s all I’m going to focus on. But it’s a huge goal, it always has been and it means something that when you do get there it means you’re doing something right or at least a good amount of things right.”

The Californian had the chance to claim top spot during the Hero World Challenge last month, taking a five-shot lead into the final round knowing a win would be enough. But he struggled on Sunday and surrendered the tournament to a surging Viktor Hovland.

Morikawa would become just the fourth player to reach world No. 1 before turning 25, joining Woods, Rory McIlroy and Spieth. He turns 25 on Feb. 6, 2022.

In 2021 Morikawa won the World Golf Championships-Workday Championship at The Concession to join Woods as the only players to win a major and WGC before turning 25. He also claimed his second major at The Open Championship and was the victor at the DP World Tour Championship to take the season long Race to Dubai title.