Collin Morikawa was crowned the winner of The Open at Royal St George’s on Sunday, but has long hinted at the secret of his success – his golfer girlfriend Katherine Zhu.
American Morikawa, 24, who joined Seve Ballesteros, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth as the only men to have won The Open at such a young age in the past 60 years, credits Zhu, 25, who was born in Vancouver , British Columbia, for helping him to the top of his game.
The couple in love, who often talks about each other on social media, has been together since their college days in 2017.
After winning the 149th British Open on Sunday, Morikawa said: ‘This is by far one of the best moments of my life seeing everyone here. I wouldn’t be here without my family, friends, Kat, my girlfriend. They couldn’t make the trip, but they got up early to watch.”
American Morikawa, 24, who joined Seve Ballesteros, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth as the only men to have won The Open at such a young age in the past 60 years, credits girlfriend Katherine Zhu (pictured, recently on vacation ), 25, for helping him to the top of his game
Katherine Zhu was born in Vancouver, British Columbia. Pictured, in Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada, on December 1, 2020
The couple in love (pictured, together), who often talks about each other on social media, has been together since their college days in 2017
Meanwhile, Zhu shared a sweet selfie of the couple kissing on a cliff on Instagram and wrote: ‘So incredibly proud of you! You’ve accomplished so much since turning pro in 2019 and I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
Morikawa replied, “Literally my good luck charm.”
And it’s not the first time Morikawa has praised his partner for helping his success. After winning the PGA Championship in 2020, he told the Golf Channel: “Kat has been by my side for everything. She’d hate me if I didn’t say this, but I didn’t start winning until she came into my life, so thank you Kat.’
“When she’s there, I always get away from golf. She knows how I feel after golf like you said she plays collegiate she knows golf can take a toll on you be it a good day or a bad day.
Collin Morikawa from the United States walks with his girlfriend Katherine Zhu during practice for the DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates on December 09, 2020 in Dubai
Collin Morikawa of the United States celebrates with the Wanamaker Trophy and girlfriend Katherine Zhu after winning the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park on August 09, 2020 in San Francisco, California
“So she’s similarly concerned with whether we’re playing well or not, but yeah, I’m very lucky to have her. Having someone to dinner makes it a lot more fun than sitting alone in the hotel.’
Zhu’s father, Mike Chu, graduated from Beijing Sport University and was a champion tennis player, but although her focus was initially on the same sport, it wasn’t long before her attention turned to golf.
She attended Zhuji Hailiang Private High School in China, before choosing to return to North America to attend Pepperdine University.
according to Golf MonthlyZhu, who has nearly 50,000 followers on Instagram, chose the school for several reasons: “First, I really like Coach Gibbs. I believe that all good players have good coaches and I believe that Coach Gibbs can help me become a good player.
“Second, Malibu has great weather conditions, which gives me a better environment to practice. Third, Pepperdine is a small school that is strong in both academia and athletics.”
While she may not be quite on the same level as her other half, Zhu spent four years on the collegiate team, playing as a division player and earning multiple WGCA All-American honors, with an impressive scoring average of 76.54. She went to the International Management major.
The couple met while Morikawa was studying at the University of California at Berkley, and Zhu at Pepperdine University.
During a video for the PGA tour last year, the couple opened up about their relationship and how both golfers brought out a competitive nature in their relationship. Pictured, Zhu in Central Park, New York on June 28
American Morikawa (pictured), 24, has joined Seve Ballesteros, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth as the only men to win The Open at such a young age in the past 60 years
During a video for the PGA tour last year, the couple opened up about their relationship and how both golfers brought out a competitive nature in their relationship.
‘We met at university and we just clicked. It’s crazy because I won my first college tournament next week and we’ve done quite well since then – it’s really fun,” said Colin.
Zhu, who also plays the flute, admitted that their relationship is “very competitive” when they hit the golf course together.
Morikawa continued: ‘Always, we never let each other win. I think she beats me on probably 70 percent of our chip matches. It actually makes me a better player. The great thing about her is that we always compete.
‘To have her around’ [on the PGA Tour] on free weeks when no one is around she can always bring a wedge to the course and we can always do something fun.’
It’s all in jest, though, as Zhu is often seen on the PGA tour as a caddy for her boyfriend during matches.
“Golf is such a big part of my life,” she said previously. “It taught me to be strong when things aren’t going well. It has taught me to respect others around me.
Most importantly, golf has created opportunities that have produced lifelong memories that I will cherish forever. I am so thankful for this great game.’