Collin Morikawa hoping that sleeping in his own bed and course knowledge is key in THE CJ CUP

The two-time Major Champion is looking to start his 2021/22 season in hot style on his home course.

For most folk Las Vegas represents the polar opposite of home.

For them Sin City means a break from normality - a weekend, a week or a fortnight of madcap over-indulgence.

Not for Collin Morikawa.

This week THE CJ CUP remains in Vegas for a second year - it moved from its original Korean base to Nevada 12 months because of Covid - and that is double good news for the two-time Major Champion.

Fr one thing, he's a Vegas resident so there's no hotel for him this week, no restless first night getting used to a new bed and strange pillows.

For another, he's a member at new host The Summit Club.

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Unsurprisingly, the 24-year-old views the prospect as the perfect one with which to begin his 2021/22 season.

"It sure feels nice to sleep in my own bed and to be at Summit," he said ahead of Thursday's first round.

"It's kind of unique for me. I don't think I've ever played a tournament on a home course, where I practice every day.

"This is the course I come during my off weeks. I'm in a cart, I go and play five holes, 18 holes, 36 holes, whatever it may be.

"I'm not sure how I'm mentally prepared for that. I have to remember that this is still a tournament, this is the start of a new season and I've got to be ready by Thursday just like every other week."

While at first glance he would appear to have a big advantage, playing a course he knows inside out and which the rest of the field is new to, Morikawa is not easily fooled. He knows how golf at this level works.

"Look, these guys are the best in the world and we do it every week," he said. "We show up to courses that we've never played and you have to figure them out Monday through Wednesday, so there's no issues there.

"But there's a sense of comfort, right? There's no sense of urgency to figure the course out for me.

"I'm comfortable with a lot of tee shots, I'm comfortable with the approaches, I know where the greens break, I know where to miss the shots, so hopefully we can execute the shots this week.

"It's going to test us. I think there's going to be quite a few birdies out here, but there's nothing wrong with that and hopefully we can make a few more than everyone else."

Let's take a closer look at the state of Morikawa's game and also what else he had to say ahead of the first round.

Morikawa's form and record in Nevada

Following victory in the Open at Royal St George's, Morikawa was tied third at the Olympics before struggling with fitness and form (going four starts without a top 20).

He bounced back at the Ryder Cup, landing three and a half point from his four matches.

Career stats? They're superb.

He has five wins from 61 starts (and has 18 top seven finishes in all - the standard place terms this week).

Above and beyond his course knowledge he also had good home state vibes because he claimed his breakthrough win at Montreux, Reno in the 2019 Barracuda Championship.

It all makes for a pretty persuasive case to back him in the outright this week.

On the new season reset

"Obviously having two wins including a WGC and a Major last season, that's got (to be judged) a great season. But I think overall the consistency wasn't there. I started off a little poorly through the fall and it was a long season. We had six majors and everything just didn't line up for me to finish well in the Playoffs. Obviously I had some fitness issues, but I think it's just a little more motivation for me coming into this new season."

On future goals

"I can't get complacent. I always want to keep pushing myself, right? I want to keep getting better and I think there's a lot of room for improvement. Yeah, there's a ton of new goals.

"I'm not going to list them all out right here, but yeah, there's a lot of things looking back at the past few seasons that I want to improve. If I improve those while still maintaining my current strengths, I'll just be contending more and hopefully we can keep closing out tournaments.

"Can I find little aspects of my game that I can get better at? Absolutely. One thing, I'm pretty bad out of the rough. How do I get better at that, whether it's learning just how to hit better shots or whether it's getting just a little physically stronger."

On his Ryder Cup experience

"Its a whole other beast of itself, right? It means so much because you're representing your country, you're representing your team, you're representing your family and everyone's just fighting for the same thing, right? You could see how exhausted everyone was after the week.

"You fight so much more. You're ready by hole one. Sometimes you wake up on a Thursday in a tournament and you just aren't mentally ready, but at the Ryder Cup you have to be ready.

"I think those are lessons to learn, that a tournament is 72 holes and the 250th shot is going to be the same as the first shot, right? They all count as one shot."

On the rise in sports betting

"I think if you asked any athlete, I don't think they care about their odds. But is sports betting good for the world? Absolutely. I think it brings a different type of audience, a different type of people into golf and that's what we need.

"We need golf to be on a bigger worldwide stage every single day because that's how we want to grow our sport. I think that's how a lot of the best golfers have left their legacies. They've reached out to new people, reached out to new communities, kids, whatever it may be to keep growing golf.

"We're still a respectful game and you have to respect us when we're hitting. So we'll see how that plays out, but I think for the most part it's going to be great because you're going to see a different crowd of fans."

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