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Jack Nicklaus has hailed the role the Scottish Open played in Collin Morikawa’s Open victory.

Morikawa, 24, won his second major on his Open debut after producing a links golf masterclass at Royal St George’s.

Impressive when you consider he had never played links golf until he touched down in Scotland for last week’s Scottish Open at The Renaissance. 

The American laboured to a T71 finish in East Lothian but, shortly after getting his hands on the Claret Jug, described what he learned there as “huge” in helping him to victory in Sandwich. 

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The greatest golfer of all time clearly agrees.

Congratulating Morikawa on social media, 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus said: “Collin himself said if he had not played in the Scottish Open the week before, he would not have been as prepared for his first Open Championship. The Scottish Open was REALLY important for him!

“I’ve always been a great believer in the importance of preparation going into any major championship, and preparation in those kinds of conditions is essential to winning. If you want to win, that’s what you’ve got to do. Collin Morikawa did it.”

Since moving to a links ‘rotation’ in 2011, the Scottish Open has proven itself to be an invaluable warm-up for The Open, with a number of players – Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson and, now, Morikawa – going on to win the Claret Jug the following week.

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That has made several players sit up and take notice – Bryson DeChambeau amongst them.

After closing out his week, the American told that he is “absolutely” planning to add the Scottish Open to his schedule next year, where he will make his tournament debut.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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