Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland can’t decide on the music

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Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland need a song. Not for karaoke, although that would be a fun team building activity this week in New Orleans.

The world No. 2 and No. 5, respectively, team up this week at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans and the most pressing issue for this dynamic duo is what mood music to play on the first tee on Saturday at TPC Louisiana. .

On Monday, Morikawa reached out to his Twitter followers for help and they responded with nearly a thousand responses, but at their pre-tournament press conference on the eve of the tournament, these two stallion golfers in their twenties had not yet pulled the trigger.

“Have our list that we are supposed to complete and I believe the deadline is tomorrow. So if you have recommendations, we’re taking responses right now,” said Morikawa, who noted that it’s not his style to wait until the last minute. “I think we have to finish this now.”

Hovland isn’t on Twitter, but he’s a music junkie who loves heavy metal and has previously listed Metallica, System of a Down and Tool as his favorite bands. As observed by Morikawa, they like different genres.

“I have no problem picking something, but we have to go for it together,” he said. “So trying to figure out something that’s going to work. In any case, we will find a solution. »

“It will be great no matter what,” added Morikawa.

But at the end of the presser, when questions were directed to Hovland to answer in his native Norwegian, Morikawa was adamant about one thing.

“We won’t do a Norwegian band,” he said. Not even the Beatles’ Norwegian Wood?

Despite their struggles to come up with a solution on which song to play, Morikawa and Hovland are a team to be feared. In the nearly three years since turning professional, they have each won the circumnavigation of the globe six times, with Morikawa winning two major titles. Their ball-striking ability is otherworldly with Hovland third this season in Strokes Gained: Approach and Morikawa ranking No. 7. (He was first last season.)

“Everyone knows what our games are. We don’t hide anything. It is over there. You can see all our statistics. You can see how we play. They are very similar games,” Morikawa said. “It just goes to show that when times are under pressure or you’re put on a stage like an alternate shot, you show up, and you’re ready to hit some good shots and you’re ready to play.”

According to the stats, having the two best ball-strikers in the field on the same team should make them the favorites to win the title in the Big Easy, but if they have an Achilles heel, c It’s around the green, where Hovland ranks 205th and Morikawa isn’t much better at 183rd in SG: Around the Green.

Last year, in the only team event on the Tour, Hovland played with fellow Norwegian and former Oklahoma State teammate Kris Ventura and finished T-25 after a disastrous Final 78 while Morikawa a missed the cut with Hovland’s college teammate Matthew Wolff. Hovland and Morikawa’s mutual admiration society began a while ago, but may have peaked when they faced off in their Ryder Cup singles match in September at Whistling Straits , where they combined to shoot a better 59. In December, Hovland rallied from six shots back in the final round to defeat Morikawa at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. Still, that didn’t stop Morikawa from popping the question about the Zurich partnership.

“Our caddies were very good friends. They started to stay together. We would show up and have dinner together and kind of developed a friendship,” Morikawa explained. “I would say we are very good friends now.”

Hearing them describe how their team came to be is a lot like a couple detailing the courtship of a prom date.

“When he first asked me to the Bahamas, I was really excited,” Hovland said. “You kind of have to play a little bit hard to get and you have to make him work a little bit for that.”

“Viktor likes to put things off to the last minute, and I hate that,” Morikawa said. “Then I kind of surrounded him right before he won in Dubai on DP World (in February), right before his playoffs, and I was like, ‘So we’re doing this? And he looked at me, and he kind of wondered what was going on. Then it happened. I solidified that and we signed.

Now, if they could just settle for one song for their background music – no Norwegian pop – Morikawa would be happy to get to work and earn the insanely large silver belt buckles that go to champions.

“Send me the form, I’ll fill it out,” Hovland told Morikawa. “I promise.”

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