Open champion Collin Morikawa has defended low scoring on the PGA Tour – but admitted he would “get sick” of having to go deep every week.
The tour has come in for criticism in recent weeks amid concerns courses are too easy for the top players.
Cam Smith won the Sentry Tournament of Champions with a record score of 34-under in Hawaii, while No.1 Jon Rahm was caught on camera branding the American Express a “putting contest”.
In contrast, Thomas Pieters’ 11-under was enough to win the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on the DP World Tour, with players and pundits praising Yas Links for the test it provided and high winds coming into play.
However, Morikawa defended the recent trend of low scoring on the PGA Tour, putting it down to favourable conditions in the opening events of the year.
“I think what we see throughout the year, you see a balance of both,” he said.
“It’s fun to shoot 34-under sometimes. I think if I had to shoot 34-under every week, I’d get kind of sick of it.
“A lot of it has to do with conditions. We wouldn’t have shot 34-under par at Kapalua if the winds were up. Last week [at Yas Links], 11-under would not have won if we didn’t have 30-, 40-mile-per-hour gusts on Friday. So it’s all based on conditions.
“Some source courses are easier than others but if we played in a dome with 15- to 20-mile-per-hour winds every week we would never see 30-under par. So that’s kind of how it is. You see a balance.”
Rather than making courses even longer to curb low scoring, Morikawa believes the solution is to make sure players have to call on all their shotmaking ability.
“The answer is not making courses longer just so we can have 5-irons into greens,” he added.
“If the greens are soft, if there’s no wind, we can fire at any pin from any distance. Scores are going to be low.
“It’s more about making us play different shots: hit it out to the right, draw it. Fade it.
“There’s some shorter courses but 15-under wins because you have to take irons off the tee. You have to draw it around trees. You can’t hit it over certain areas, and it goes back to course setup.”