Two-time major winner had used blade to win The Open, PGA Championship
June 02, 2022
By Cameron Morfit, PGATOUR.COM
- Collin Morikawa entered the week ranked 19th in the FedExCup standings. (Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR)
DUBLIN, Ohio – Collin Morikawa made a putter switch for the first time in a year and turned in a 1-under 71 in the first round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday.
Using a TaylorMade Spider GT Rollback mallet, Morikawa took 28 putts, was in positive numbers in Strokes Gained: Putting, and pronounced himself satisfied with the switch.
“I’ll take it,” said Morikawa, who used a TaylorMade TP Juno blade to win last year’s Open Championship and a similar blade-style flatstick in his victory at the 2020 PGA Championship. “It’s matching what I’m feeling, and that’s all I can ask for – I haven’t felt that probably since Augusta (where he finished solo 5th).”
Although he started this season with six top-10 finishes in his first eight starts, the five-time PGA TOUR winner has fallen back since then. He hasn’t finished in the top 25 in any of his last four starts, including a T55 at the PGA Championship and T40 at the Charles Schwab Challenge.
Morikawa, 19th in the FedExCup, said there were two things happening. He was having a hard time finding his normal left-to-right shot from tee to green, and the ball wasn’t coming off his putter quite right, either. To address his tee-to-green struggles, he said, he made a tiny adjustment in the first round.
“It made the biggest difference,” he said. He hit 11 of 14 fairways.
As for his putter change, he said the goal was to get a bit more upright, with his hands slightly higher. In a normal week, he said, he might have just taken his old blade to the equipment truck to have it bent. But there are no equipment trucks on site at the Memorial, so instead Morikawa had a Spider GT Rollback mallet made up to his specs. Committed to using it, he put it in the bag Tuesday.
Morikawa ranked fourth in Strokes Gained: Putting this season through the Genesis Invitational but has fallen to 120th. He was fourth from last in that stat at last week's Charles Schwab Challenge (among players who made the cut).
The Spider GT Rollback has a classic half-moon head that features an 80-gram tungsten rollbar positioned on the perimeter of the head to increase stability.
He’s still rolling with the modified claw grip, inspired by Mark O’Meara.
“I see him all the time when I’m back in Vegas,” Morikawa said, “and he’ll give me a little tidbit here or there. Sometimes posture changes, so all I did was change the lie to get a little more upright, get my hands in a little better spot. It feels like where I want to be putting, which is nice. Same loft. No adjustments on the grip. Technically I’m not thinking anything, which is good.
“It doesn’t mean I’m not going to go back to the blade,” he continued, “but there were no trucks here, and I wasn’t comfortable bending my putter to a different lie angle, because it really was just changing the lie angle to make contact a little more consistent.”