Colin Morikawa has officially secured his spot on the Sentry next season, which means he will return to Hawaii in January.
While we still have months to go, Morikawa admitted to dreading seeing Maui after the devastating and deadly wildfires that hit the island this month.
“Going back to a place like this where I know I have a lot of connections… It would be very scary,” Morikawa said on BMW Championship Tuesday. Via Golf Digest.
At least 99 people have died after wildfires raged on the island of Maui this month as of Tuesday, According to The New York Times, although the death toll is expected to rise in the coming days. The fires, which mainly destroyed the city of Lahaina, are the deadliest in the United States in more than a century.
Morikawa has a lot of connections with Hawaii, and even Lahaina specifically. Many of his family members were born and raised on Maui, and his grandfather owned a family restaurant in Lahaina. Morikawa was born in Los Angeles himself, but still has family living in Hawaii.
Morikawa announced ahead of the FedEx St. Jude said last week that he was planning to donate $1,000 for every bird he made during FedExCup Playoffs. He made 15 birds and an eagle last week, which totaled $17,000 to the United Way of Maui. He said this week he plans to donate money from the BMW Championships at Olympia Fields to World Central Kitchen.
The PGA Tour holds two tournaments in Hawaii each year. Sentry – officially known as the Sentry Tournament of Champions – takes place in January at Plantation Stadium in Kapalua, Maui. The course is located about 11 miles north of Lahaina. The second event, the Sony Open in Hawaii, takes place a week later in Honolulu.
“Every year we always walked by the store that ended up where Morikawa Restaurant is,” Morikawa said. Via Golf Digest. “I’m very afraid. But I think that with fear, you also have to step up. You have to be brave, you have to be brave. We have this ability to reach out to millions of people, (with) our PGA Tour network and being professional athletes, to make it better ( Fundraising and aid) Find charities, find ways to help these people because they do everything they can and it’s always good to have a helping hand.
“Golf is going to be very strange this week, I guarantee it. There are only a few months left. Even with that time, things can’t rebuild so quickly.”
Morikawa, 26, has won five times on the PGA Tour. He entered this week ranked No. 22 in the FedExCup standings after finishing last week’s T13 in Memphis. Only the top 30 in the standings will qualify for next week’s Tour Championship.
“It’s really sad that this is happening there, especially for a culture that cares about their native land the way Hawaiians do,” FedExCup ranking number one John Rahm said Tuesday. “You don’t want to see that happen.
“If we go and play (in Kapalua), I hope during the tournament we can help the community as much as we can.”