Here's everything you need to know for the first round of the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island's Ocean Course.
COLLIN MORIKAWA: I was able to meet Rick Sessinghaus at the golf center range at Scholl Canyon, where I grew up playing a little bit. And, you know, we had this relationship of a coach and a player for 16 years now. And it's been the best thing.
I just fell in love with it.
RICK SESSINGHAUS: We had a very good coach, player relationship. Because he was always very attentive. He's very aware of his environment. And what I appreciate is his attitude was always good. And he wanted to learn, you know. That's what as a coach, I just want to be with somebody who wants to learn. And he was that at a very early age.
He was curious yet creative. So he certainly wanted to know the causes and effects and A plus B equals C. But he processed it in a way as what, I think, is best for an athlete which is creative and athletic, not trying to be perfect by any means.
But we wanted to understand a lot of the why. Well, why are we doing this? And then once he got that answer, it was awesome.
JJ JAKOVAC: The first time I saw Collin play was the-- I was still working for Ryan obviously. I was watching The Western Intercollegiate on TV. I'd obviously heard the name before because he was one of the better players in the country for college.
I don't pay that much of attention to it. But I have a little bit of an idea who the best players in college are, right? But I saw him play at The Golf Channel Televised, The Western Intercollegiate at Pasatiempo, which is one of my favorite golf courses in the world. And the first time I saw him, I was like, wow. That is a good-- I just remember thinking, that kid's got a really good golf swing.
It seems to me he's like an old soul if that makes any sense. Like he's just like-- he has an ability that is way beyond his years to just go with the flow on the golf course. I mean it's incredible how much he's developed just over almost two years since I started working with him. But his short game, he's developed a lot. His shot selection, he's developed a lot.
RICK SESSINGHAUS: His caddie, JJ, is once they built that bond of trust, it's, wow, man, what a relationship those guys have. JJ is awesome. Yet it takes a little bit of any relationship to have trust. To build trust with Colin requires you to know your stuff and to show up in a certain way. And then once you have it, man, it's a cool relationship if that makes sense.
JJ JAKOVAC: He thinks like a good caddie out on the golf course. So it's much easier to caddie for someone like that who is kind of already on the same page. And even if I'm saying something to him that he might not see in his head, he'll then listen to me. And I'll explain, hey, this is why I think this.
ANDREW KIPPER: It was pretty clear from the first instance I met him that the kid had a [? gift. ?] You know, the golf speaks for itself. I mean I think he-- you know, it's amazing how under the radar he was given what he did after his freshman year taking Ollie Schneiderjans to a playoff in a Korn Ferry [INAUDIBLE]. You know, college freshmen aren't supposed to do that.
He's so present when you talk to him, you know, whether it's in person or on the phone, it kind of doesn't matter. You just get the sense that he is-- the only thing he cares about in that moment is that conversation.
COLLIN MORIKAWA: Opportunities to be on TV to help, you know, run ads for sponsors and all that, it's all great things. And I love it. But for me to stay who I am is the most important thing. Because that needs to show on TV as well. You know, [INAUDIBLE] but we're also trying to impact kids who want to play golf or look at us as mentors. Even though I'm 24, I have to be a role model. And I'm not trying to be someone that I'm not. But that's who I am.
- I really think this kid's ceiling is as high as he wants it to be.