Golf-Morikawa not fretting lack of consistency on the greens

The 2020 Ryder Cup
FILE PHOTO: Golf - The 2020 Ryder Cup - Whistling Straits, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, U.S. - September 26, 2021 Team USA's Collin Morikawa reacts as he misses a putt on the 16th hole during the Singles REUTERS/Brian Snyder

March 22, 2022

(Reuters) – Collin Morikawa may be struggling with consistency on the greens but the British Open champion, with the Masters just two weeks away, said on Tuesday he is not about to panic or overhaul his putting stroke.

After finishing among the top-seven in his first five events of the PGA Tour season, Morikawa has since missed the cut at The Players Championship and finished in a share of 68th place at last week’s Valspar Championship.

“Putting is going to be streaky. I’m going to have good weeks, I’m going to have bad weeks,” Morikawa told reporters at Austin Country Club ahead of this week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event.

“What I have to realise is like I have a couple bad weeks, I’m not going to go search for something. I’m not going to go change my grip.

“I still trust what I’m doing. It’s just how do we get a little more consistent rather than have a couple of weeks like the past.”

World number two Morikawa said that while his recent scores might suggest otherwise he feels his game is close to where it needs to be and that his performances have made him aware of things he needs to do to be on top of his game.

The two-time major champion’s putting game will be put to the ultimate test during the April 7-10 Masters given Augusta National’s notoriously tricky greens.

Morikawa has made two previous Masters starts, having finished in a share of 18th place last year after ending in a tie for 44th place in this 2020 debut.

But Morikawa said that he has since given up on the notion that one must a play a draw — which for a right-handed golfer is a ball flight that moves from a players’ right to their left — to find success at Augusta National.

“The first two years when I was there, I tried playing a draw type golf game, and obviously that’s not me,” said Morikawa.

“It forced me to hit these shots that I wasn’t comfortable with and I didn’t know my misses and then my misses were even a bigger dispersion, and it just made golf harder to play.

“I’ve got to stick to my strengths of what I can do. Look, there are guys that have hit cuts there that have won, so it’s possible.”

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Pritha Sarkar)