23-year-old Collin Morikawa and 21-year-old Matthew Wolff are easily and obviously two of the best young golfers on the planet today. Both turned pro last summer and both have already spent time in the winner’s circle on the PGA Tour. Morikawa took things a step further by winning the PGA Championship this past August but Wolff was right there in the thick of things at Harding Park. Actually, Matthew Wolff could very easily be going for his third consecutive major championship victory when he tees off at the 2020 edition of The Masters. However, history says that both he and Collin Morikawa will fall short at Augusta National this week.
Collin Morikawa already has three victories, including the 2020 PGA Championship
Collin Morikawa made his professional debut at the 2019 RBC Canadian Open and racked up his first PGA Tour victory in just his sixth start, a three-point win at the Barracuda Championship, which uses the Modified Stableford scoring format.
Morikawa began his pro career by making 22 consecutive cuts, just three shy of the record set by Tiger Woods to open his Hall of Fame career. This past July, he won his second PGA Tour event by defeating Justin Thomas in a playoff at the Workday Charity Open at Muirfield Village. With the victory, he became just the second player to win twice before missing his second cut. Of course, Tiger was the other.
In August, in just his second appearance in a major, Collin Morikawa shot a brilliant final-round 64 to win the PGA Championship. He matched the lowest final round score to win the tournament and became the third-youngest player in history to win the PGA.
Matthew Wolff nearly won both the PGA Championship and the U.S. Open
If Matthew Wolff’s first two appearances in a major championship are any indication of how the rest of his career will go, golf fans are in for a treat for the next two decades. But fans are always in for a treat with him with that unorthodox swing.
Wolff, who made his pro debut at the 2019 Travelers Championship, picked up his first PGA Tour victory in his third start, winning last year’s 3M Open by one stroke over Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa, the two men that won the only two major championships he’s appeared in thus far.
In his first major appearance at this year’s PGA Championship, Matthew Wolff shot up the leaderboard on Sunday at Harding Park and finished with a 65, tying for fourth. The following month, at the U.S. Open, he took a two-shot lead into the final round after shooting an incredible 65 at Winged Foot, which was playing extremely difficult. However, Wolff stumbled a bit on Sunday as DeChambeau surged to a six-stroke victory.
History says Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff won’t win The Masters as only three first-timers have ever won at Augusta
So given the major championship histories of Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff, who are respectively ranked fourth and 14th in the Official World Golf Ranking, one would think that both would have a great chance to win The Masters this week, right? Well, of course that’s true as anyone can win in any given week. But Masters history doesn’t give either one of them much of a chance.
Since the first edition of The Masters was played in 1934, only three first-time players have won the tournament. And the first player to do it, Horton Smith, doesn’t really count because he won the first one. And the second to do it, Gene Sarazen, accomplished it a year later in 1935. Since then, only Fuzzy Zoeller has won his Masters debut and that happened 41 years ago in 1979.
So Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff certainly have their work cut out for them, as do Scottie Scheffler, Sungjae Im, and Cameron Champ. All of these guys have the talent to pull out a win at Augusta but history certainly isn’t on their side.