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Collin Morikawa details ‘hate’ behind British Open comment, digs hole deeper ahead of Open Championship

Morikawa, who won the 2021 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s, briefly discussed the name behind this championship with the media Tuesday.

Collin Morikawa, PGA Tour, The 151st Open
HOYLAKE, England — Collin Morikawa speaks to the media in a press conference during a practice round prior to The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club on July 18, 2023.
Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

Is it the British Open? Or The Open Championship?

Americans call it one thing, while the rest of the world refers to it as the other. Sound familiar?

You can guess which group calls it the British Open.

Alas, Collin Morikawa, the 2021 champion golfer of the year, feels this choice is up to him.

“At the end of the day, if you win it, you can call it whatever the hell you want,” Morikawa said Tuesday in his pre-tournament press conference. “I think people understand whether you say British Open or The Open.”

Morikawa held off Louis Oosthuizen and Jordan Spieth at Royal St. George’s in 2021 to capture the Claret Jug. It was his second—and most recent—major championship.

His victory in Southern England marked the first time since 2003 that the champion had won the tournament in their debut.

The former California Golden Bear began the final round one shot off the lead, but his bogey-free 4-under 66 led him to glory on Sunday.

Collin Morikawa, England, The 149th Open
SANDWICH, England — Collin Morikawa of the United States celebrates on the 18th hole after winning The 149th Open at Royal St George’s Golf Club on July 18, 2021.
Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images

“I definitely called it the British Open the year I won, and then people gave me hate for it,” Morikawa explained. “So then I called it The Open last year, but I played better when I called it the British Open, so I might call it the British Open.”

Last year at St. Andrews, Morikawa missed the cut by a shot after shooting a 1-over 73 during Friday’s second round.

So perhaps his argument carries some weight.

But his point stems from a lack of knowledge of world geography, something he admitted during his session with the media.

Either way, The Open Championship is golf’s oldest major championship, contested annually within the United Kingdom, which includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Yet, Morikawa does not care what he or other people call this tournament, but he definitely cares about winning the Claret Jug again.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.