ON his British Open debut, American Collin Morikawa again made the world sit up a take a look at his prowess. He won his second Major at Royal St. George’s Golf Club in Kent, England in some style.
The TaylorMade Tour star lifted the Claret Jug with a 265 total (15-under) with rounds of 67, 64, 68 and 66.
Morikawa said he made a significant change to his irons set-up at Royal St. George’s, following his first links experience the week before at the Scottish Open – and it certainly paid off.
Working with TaylorMade’s Sports Marketing representative Adrian Rietveld, Morikawa was aiming to improve his centre strike on his mid and short irons on the firmer and tighter links turf.
“As the question came through to me from Collin, I told him I needed to think about it,” said Rietveld. “He’s that type of guy, that nothing is going to change unless there’s an out-and-out reason to change, and he just felt as if he was mis-hitting his irons. But he couldn’t understand why.
“It was interesting to note,” said Rietveld. “The sound off the P730 irons (in Scotland) was not Collin-like. It’s unique to say this, but it was just fractionally different to what I’m used to hearing.
“Then he goes into the P7MC (irons) and you can hear the strike come back,” added Rietveld.
Morikawa said: “I changed my irons, my 9 through 7 iron that I normally have blades in. I changed to the P7MCs strictly because I couldn’t find the centre of the face.
“I was hitting these iron shots at the Scottish Open that I just normally don’t and my swing felt good, but it was a huge learning opportunity.”
Another significant change that Morikawa made on the eve of the 149th Open Championship was adding weight to his TP Juno putter.
After playing on the US PGA Tour’s faster greens all year, when Morikawa arrived at the Scottish Open he struggled to get the ball to the hole on the slower links greens. Again, working with Rietveld, he switched the weights in his TP Juno from 2.5 grams heel and toe (5g total), to a heavier 7.5 grams heel and toe weights adding a total of 10 grams.
“It’s a learning process. The greens, they’re slow. That’s it.
“They’re slow and you got to figure out how to putt. My putting stroke has been good – just had to figure out the speed and I was able to hit some good putts with speed,” said Morikawa.