Though some sports fans consider golf to be lacking in high-octane excitement, its revolving door of pros tends to make up for the slow pace of the game with personalities. There’s the Man, the Myth, the Legend in Tiger Woods, along with other vibrant personalities in Phil Mickelson to Rickie Fowler.
Each has their own personality quirk (or, in the case of Fowler, signature fashion) that complements their talent on the greens. In the last year, one of the most-discussed names in the PGA Tour is Collin Morikawa. Though he bagged last year’s Championship Cup and caught the attention of fans and pundits, he’s not listed as a favorite in golf betting odds for the upcoming Ryder Cup.
The young pro has a strong start to his career, but he’ll have to put in incremental growth if he wants to be a regular fixture beside Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, or Justin Thomas. At the moment, he’s nipping at the heels of another young star, Bryson DeChambeau.
However, there’s one major difference between the young players (aside from a few years in age). Morikawa has a practice partner at home in his fellow golf pro girlfriend, Katherine Zhu.
High School Sweethearts
Aside from his 2020 Championship Win, Morikawa has yet to make a major impact in the Majors. Aside from a T18 finish at the recent 2021 Masters, he seems to be busy perfecting his form and style.
At age 24, there’s no rush for Morikawa—especially considering pros like Woods have won Majors tournaments two decades apart. The young player has all the winning pieces in place; an illustrious amateur career, more than a few helpful coaches and trainers, and a dedicated partner who can critique his drives.
Meet Katherine Zhu, a former collegiate golfer at Pepperdine. Though Zhu hasn’t shown an inclination in going pro herself, she won’t be leaving the sport behind any time soon. After winning the Championship Cup at TPC Harding last year, Morikawa cited Zhu as a key reason he was able to sweep his first Major.
Since Morikawa has proved his talent on the greens, he’s been exposed to higher-profile groupings in PGA events. Most recently, he was grouped with Hideki Matsuyama and Bryson DeChambeau for the 2021 PGA Championship.
With all three pros under 30 years of age, it was a battle of the players’ generation—especially with Matsuyama coming off his win at the Masters. This sort of grouping is exactly what fans expect to see. They’re also certain to stay interested in Morikawa and Zhu’s partnership.