Collin Morikawa honoured to be first American Race to Dubai champion, now he wants to be world No 1
"I'm going to set the bar as high as I can get and keep going. I'm still not No 1 in the world, so I still have a lot to work on in my game"; Collin Morikawa sets high expectations after becoming first American to win the Race to Dubai
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 21/11/21 2:09pm
Collin Morikawa savoured another historic achievement in his fledgling career as he reflected on the "honour" of being crowned Race to Dubai champion, and he has now set his sights on ending the year as world No 1.
Morikawa continues to have a significant impact on the record books barely two-and-a-half years after turning professional, becoming the first American to top the Order of Merit on the European Tour thanks to his superb victory at the DP World Tour Championship.
The 24-year-old birdied five of the last seven holes while the likes of Rory McIlroy and Matt Fitzpatrick faltered down the stretch, Morikawa's closing 66 earning him an impressive three-shot win on 17 under par.
It was a third title of 2021 for the world No 2, and his first since his astonishing performance on his Open debut at Royal St George's in July, and he was delighted to close out the Race to Dubai crown with a victory in the final event of the season in Dubai.
"It's special, it's an honour, really, to be the first American to do that on the European Tour," he said. "To put my name against many, many great Hall of Famers, it's special. I get touched up just talking about that.
"I came here last time, my first time to Dubai, obviously not having played too many European Tour events, and I told everyone that I wanted to come out here and win the Race to Dubai and win the DP World Tour Championship.
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"I had it in my control this week. Obviously if I won, I would have sealed the deal, and that's all I focused on really. I couldn't really get my head too focused on the Race to Dubai.
"I knew there were many, many scenarios that could have happened, but I wanted to come out here and win. I felt like my game has been in a really good spot over the past kind of the last month and a half since the Ryder Cup, so you know, overall, it's just an amazing win, really special."
Morikawa also sounded a warning to his peers that he intends to lift plenty more silverware next year, and for many years to follow, insisting he would continue to set himself tough tests and high expectations rather than rest on his laurels.
"Win more," was Morikawa's blunt assessment of his main goal for 2022. "It's not an encore, it's not a swansong farewell to what I'm doing in 2021. I'm going to set some high goals high. I always have. I'm going to set the bar as high as I can get and keep going.
"I'm still not No 1 in the world, so I still have a lot to work on in my game. Obviously this week was good. I still thought I wasn't playing amazing, but I made do. I was able to make some putts here and there. Hit some great chip shots, made some up-and-downs and some crucial par saves out here and that's what you need.
"So I still think there's a ton to work on. That's just kind of the nature of how my mind works and how I work: I just want more. I know I'm going to enjoy this one a lot, especially since it's at the end of the year, but there's a lot more from me hopefully."
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Morikawa will have the chance to achieve his ambition to top the world rankings if he can win the Hero World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods in the Bahamas early next month, and the young American is fully aware of what he needs to do.
"Hopefully we can get there, you know, even if it's just for that one week," he added. "I'm sure we're still going to have many chances hopefully come next year.
"And it's been a goal since before I can even remember and started talking about turning professional...you want to be the best in the world, right. And I've been very lucky. I've played very well. I've done some good things so far.
"But it takes a lot to get to No 1 in the world. You need to be a well-rounded golfer, a well-rounded person to get there, and there's been a lot of great players that haven't and that just shows how tough it is.
"So hopefully we can use this as momentum into the Bahamas in a couple weeks, get some well-needed rest in December, and then get started for the beginning of the year."