Collin Morikawa has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour in recognition of his debut Open Championship victory at Royal St Georges in July.
The American, who goes into this week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship as leader of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, lifted the Claret Jug at the first attempt with a two shot victory over his Ryder Cup teammate Jordan Spieth at Sandwich.
It was the second time he had captured one of golf’s four Major Championships in his first appearance, having also claimed a debut win in the 2020 US PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.
Morikawa, who also won the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession in February, will this week hopes to round off a fine individual season by becoming the first American winner of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.
European Tour Chief Executive Keith Pelley presented the 24-year-old with his Honorary Life Membership card on the eve of the final Rolex Series event of 2021, with Morikawa becoming just the 57th player in the tour’s 49-year history to receive the accolade, which was first given to the John Jacobs in 1978.
He is also the fifth American to be given Honorary Life Membership, following in the footsteps of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Patrick Reed.
Morikawa said: “Two-and-a-half years ago, when I turned pro, I had no clue what life was going to put in front of me, but I’m very thankful for what I’ve been able to accomplish. Obviously the world has gone through many changes, but this means a lot and I have to say thanks to the European Tour.
“We want to grow the game as much as we can, and this is an important piece of that. So I’m going to honour this and this is going to be very special and it is definitely a top highlight so far since turning pro, so thank you.”
Pelley said: “On behalf of everyone on the Tour, I would like to officially welcome Collin into an illustrious group of players to receive Honorary Life Membership of the European Tour. Collin is an incredible talent and he has already accomplished so much in the game at such a young age.
“To win the Open Championship at the first attempt is a special achievement and he now has the opportunity to secure another piece of history this week by becoming the first American winner of the Race to Dubai. I know how much Collin enjoys competing on the European Tour and we were all very proud to see one of our members lift the Claret Jug in front of so many fans at Sandwich this summer.”