Collin Morikawa: Americans need to make Covid adjustments for The Open

Collin Morikawa, the world No 4, is “slightly” surprised to be playing in front of 32,000 fans per day in next week’s Open but has backed the R&A’s decision to have a bubble for players.

Collin Morikawa speaks at a press conference prior to the abrdn Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images.

Fellow American Rickie Fowler has expressed “concerns” about the set up for the Claret Jug event in Kent, saying: “It seems like us as players, we're jumping through some hurdles and dodging bullets and they're having 32,000 fans a day at the tournament.”

Speaking as he prepared to play in front of a strictly-limited attendance at this week’s abrdn Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, Morikawa insisted he felt safe about the plan for the delayed 149th edition of The Open.

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“I mean, slightly,” he replied to being asked if he thought 32,000 was a large number at the moment.

“But you see how many fans are going to the Euros, I think Wimbledon let in a bunch of fans or full capacity for the quarters. They moved that up early as I think they had it at finals at first.

“Obviously I wish we could get out and explore, but I think the entire year since Covid has started and since we've returned to golf, I really haven't felt any safer anywhere compared to when you're inside the bubble.

“I think once you're in the bubble, you feel very safe. You feel comfortable and we're able to just go out and play golf.

“It's tough because when we are stuck inside a bubble, you can just lose your mind sometimes. “You have so much time away from the golf course that sometimes you're just sitting in the room trying to figure out what to do and that's kind of the hardest part sometimes.

“Especially when you see other people and you see fans wanting to do other things or going out there, and you see 32,000 people out there when you have to strictly eat your food and go back to your room.”

Morikawa has already been part of European Tour bubbles for the DP World Tour Championship and the Omega Dubai Desert Classic whereas Fowler, for instance, will be making his first journey across the Atlantic in the Covid world.

“In the US, things are getting back, pretty normal these days. So when you do make a trip out here and you have to stay in a bubble, it's an adjustment,” said Morikawa.

“It's an adjustment everyone has to make, especially all the US guys. It's something we haven't been used to over the past few months.”

Morikawa, the 2020 US PGA champion, is joining world No 1 Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele among others in making his Scottish Open debut. Struggling with jetlag, he posted a video of the sun rising on Tuesday morning.

“I tried staying awake last night but I couldn't, fell asleep like 8.15, 8.30, slept until at 4.30,” he said. “It stays bright out here for quite some time and then it gets bright early, so I wanted to take a peak outside my window. I have got a great view this week looking over 18 a 6. Yeah, beautiful, beautiful view out there.”

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