The 2017 AGC California Player of the Year: Collin Morikawa
01 Jan 2018
by AmateurGolf.com Staff

see also: Collin Morikawa Rankings

Collin Morikawa is the back-to-back California Player-of-the-Year<br>(Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Collin Morikawa is the back-to-back California Player-of-the-Year
(Photo by John McCoy, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

For the second straight year, Collin Morikawa of La Canada Flintridge is the AmateurGolf.com California Player of the Year.

The AmateurGolf.com California Player of the Year is awarded based on a point system earned through performance in major national and state amateur events throughout the course of the year. The year, the 20-year-old Morikawa won a close race over Shintaro Ban of San Jose.

Final California POY Points Standings, 2017
Collin MorikawaLa Cañada Flintridge7450
Shintaro BanSan Jose7335
Cameron ChampSacramento6800
Norman XiongCanyon Lake6750
Justin SuhSan Jose6450
Sahith TheegalaChino Hills5900
Christopher PetefishDanville4200
Brandon WuDanville4025
Sean CrockerLong Beach4000
10 Maverick McNealyPortola Valley3600
The highlight of Morikawa's year was his win in the Northeast Amateur, as the junior from Cal-Berkeley held off Ban and Theo Humphrey by two shots at Wannamoisett Country Club in Rhode Island.

In March, Morikawa also recorded his first career college victory at the ASU Thunderbird Invitational in Tempe, AZ. In his previous event, the Southern Highlands Collegiate, he came close to breaking through, narrowly losing in a playoff to Grant Hirschman of the University of Oklahoma.

"It feels great," Morikawa said about the win to Cal athletics. "It is a great feeling to finally close it out especially after so many close finishes. Learning how to win is very difficult and now I'll not only be able to draw from experience with solid finishes but from this win as well."

He had three other runner-up finishes in 2017, including a June playoff loss to AGC Men's Player-of-the-Year Braden Thornberry at the Sunnehanna Amateur. He finished second to Cameron Champ at the Trans-Mississippi Championship at Prairie Dunes in July, and was the runner-up to Dylan Meyer in the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational in October.

Morikawa had five other top-10 finishes for Cal, finishing third at the John Burns Intercollegiate in Hawaii, fifth at the Ka'anapali Collegiate in Hawaii, sixth at the PAC-12 Championship, seventh at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate in Mexico, and ninth at the Alister Mackenzie Invitational.

For his college performances, Morikawa was named a Division I PING First-Team All-American. He was a Division I PING All-Region and first-team All-Pac-12 selection, and was a first-team Pac-12 All-Academic selection. Additionally, he was a semifinalist for both the Jack Nicklaus Player-of-the-Year Award and The Ben Hogan Award.

In August, he made the final 16 in the U.S. Amateur Championship at Riviera. After the tournament, he was named to the United States Walker Cup team.

The next month at Los Angeles Country Club, Morikawa played an instrumental role in Team USA reclaiming the Walker Cup, winning all four of his matches in the event.

Players of the Year
2017 Collin Morikawa
2016 Collin Morikawa
2015 Bryson DeChambeau
2014 Beau Hossler
2013 Max Homa
2012 Michael Kim
2011 Patrick Cantlay
2010 Patrick Cantlay
2009 Rickie Fowler
2008 Rickie Fowler
2007 Jamie Lovemark
2006 Bob Niger
His first tournament of the year was at the Amateurgolf.com Silicon Valley Amateur in January, where he finished third.

Last year Morikawa rode a win at the Sunnehanna Amateur and a runner-up finish in his first professional event, the Web.com Tour's Air Capital Classic, to his first California Player-of-the-Year honor.

Finishing as the runner-up to Morikawa was Shintaro Ban of San Jose, who won the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate and was the runner-up (to Morikawa) in both the Northeast Amateur and the ASU Thunderbird Invitational, as well as the Canadian Amateur. Trans-Mississippi champion Cameron Champ, who turned professional in the fall, was third. Norman Xiong, who won the Western Amateur in August, finished fourth while three-time college tournament winner Justin Suh rounded out the top five.

Illustrating the depth of the California amateur game (which prompted us to muse how an all-California Walker Cup team might fare), winners of major amateur tournaments could not crack the top five. Sahith Theegala (Sahalee Players Championship), Christopher Petefish (Dixie Amateur), Brandon Wu (Porter Cup), and Sean Crocker (Italian Amateur) occupied spots six through nine, with Walker Cupper Maverick McNealy finishing tenth. Crocker and McNealy both turned pro in 2017.

Complete 2017 Points List (576 players)

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