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Collin Morikawa working with putting coach for first time

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Collin Morikawa working with putting coach for first time

    Collin Morikawa cards birdie at World Wide Technology

    PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico – Collin Morikawa has started working with a putting coach for the first time in his career.

    Morikawa, who began working with Stephen Sweeney this week, confirmed the move Sunday at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba after a final-round 67.

    The five-time TOUR winner said it’s the first time throughout an entire tournament where “everything felt really good.”

    “We’re just getting started,” said Morikawa, who was tied for second in putts per greens in regulation for the week at the midway point of the final round. “It’s really exciting.”

    The addition to Morikawa's team was first reported by Golfweek.

    Despite winning two majors before turning 25, Morikawa’s putting has been the lone substandard statistic of his game. He was 178th in Strokes Gained: Putting in 2020-21 and 131st in 2021-22. Through the early part of this season, he ranked 202nd.

    Morikawa’s last victory came at The Open Championship in 2021. He had two second-place results last season – a solo second at THE CJ CUP in South Carolina and a T2 at The Genesis Invitational.

    Morikawa said he’s been working with Sweeney – who counts other TOUR winners like Aaron Wise, Sebastián Muñoz and Shane Lowry as pupils – for about a week. He said he is starting to learn “very basic, general things” on the “why” of putting – something he admitted he wasn’t always certain of.

    “I’m sure a lot of people probably guessed ‘why now’ and not three years ago,” said Morikawa with a laugh, “but it just comes down to just knowing why. I didn’t really understand putting as much as a lot of these guys (on the PGA TOUR). I mean, it’s not that hard, you hit the putt. But I didn’t know the reasons why I had good weeks and had bad weeks. Even though I thought I was doing something when I was putting well, I just wasn’t able to sustain that.

    “It’s never got too mechanical (with Sweeney) and it actually felt amazing. It was fun to put a putter in my hand this week, and I hit a lot of good putts.”

    Morikawa, who was tied for 14th as the final group entered the final stretch at El Camaleon, is set to tee it up at the Hero World Challenge as his final TOUR-sanctioned event of 2022, but he has a big event coming up off the golf course in three weeks – his wedding.

    He said he has indeed been involved with the planning and is looking forward to a nice break embracing the excitement, the event and the enjoyment of being around close friends and family.

    For the first time in his career, an addition to his circle includes a putting coach – and he can’t wait to see what happens next.

    “Seeing how I played this week and seeing the improvement I can make, it’s exciting,” said Morikawa. “Small improvements that I don’t think many people would notice, but from a full mental and physical aspect, it was a lot better. I still have a lot of things to clean up and learn from, but I can kind of put this year behind me hopefully and just keep growing and be a better person and better golfer.”

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