Collin Morikawa made this surprising switch Friday. Now he’s 1 off the Masters lead

A split image of Collin Morikawa putting Thursday at the Masters and Saturday.

Collin Morikawa benched a new putter after the first round of the Masters. Now he's one off the lead.

Darren Riehl/GOLF and Getty Images

Collin Morikawa is just like the rest of us: Sometimes he just needs to put his putter in a little timeout to get the magic flowing again.

But unlike the rest of us, we’re not switching putters in the middle of a major. Nor does said switch propel us to shoot five under over two days at Augusta National and place us one shot off the 54-hole lead at the Masters.

Oh, and if Morikawa wins, he’ll be three-quarters of the way to the career grand slam.

So maybe he’s is a lot better at golf than we are, but the point remains: Collin Morikawa made a mid-tournament putter switch this week at the Masters.

The two-time major winner actually began the week with wholesale changes to his golf bag. GOLF’s Jonathan Wall reported Morikawa dropped his trusty, four-year-old TaylorMade SIM driver and 3-wood for the current year Qi10 LS and Qi10 Tour models, respectively.

But Morikawa also joined a growing list of players who have followed the lead of Scottie Scheffler in switching to a TaylorMade Spider Tour X mallet.

Scheffler switched to the model at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and promptly won his next two events, finished second at his next start and now leads the Masters by one after 54 holes.

TaylorMade Spider Tour X Putter

THIN WALL UNDERCUT CONSTRUCTION We’ve engineered a super stable structure by removing excess weight to create high MOI and legendary Spider performance. STEEL WIREFRAME Allows engineers to better control weight distribution and CG location. HYBRAR ECHO® DAMPENER HYBRAR is behind the face to dampen unwanted vibrations, delivering premium sound and feel on every putt with the best possible sensation. DIFFERENT CG LOCATION Each Spider Tour model features different CG locations for optimal putter fitting. TSS WEIGHTING TSS weights provide balanced weighting and help optimize performance for all various putter lengths. GUNMETAL PVD FINISH The durable PVD coating creates a beautiful high-quality finish. TRUE PATH™ ALIGNMENT The patented alignment system provides visual clarity and helps golfers better envision the line to the hole. WHITE TPU PURE ROLL™ INSERT Made from a combination of Surlyn and aluminum, the white TPU Pure Roll™ insert creates a softer feel. Grooves are angled at 45° to encourage optimal forward roll as well as better sound, feel and overall roll characteristics. The white insert also creates better symmetry with the white True Path alignment. REFINED HOSEL DESIGNS Spider Tour Series includes two different hosel shapes and designs. The small slant produces toe hang, and the double bend produces a face balanced design.
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Morikawa didn’t have quite the same love-at-first-stroke reaction when he brought the flatstick to Augusta. After completing an opening-round 71 Friday morning where he lost nearly four-tenths of a stroke on the greens according to DataGolf, Morikawa ditched the mallet before teeing off for his second round.

“I came into this week not putting well or not feeling comfortable with the putter that I had in my hands. Went full 180, switched to the mallet, switched to the Spider, and was feeling great, to be honest,” Morikawa said Saturday night. “I felt really, really good. Felt better than I’ve kind of felt all year.

“But sometimes you don’t know how it’s going to feel in the tournament. Through that Thursday and then Friday morning round, it was just for me to finish the round, like I just wanted to get the putter out of my hands because I couldn’t get comfortable with it.”

While Morkiawa made three birdies during brutally difficult conditions Thursday afternoon and into Friday morning, including a 35-foot bomb to end his round, he missed makable looks coming home at 12 (11 feet), 14 (7 feet), 15 (9 feet), 16 (7 feet) and 17 (11 feet).

So it was out with the new and in with the old for the 27-year-old. Although it wasn’t the exact same TaylorMade TP Soto he’d been using.

TaylorMade TP Reserve B11 Putter

FINE MILLED PUTTERS Machine milling creates the best details and elevates the putter’s overall character. MACHINED IN GROOVE Machined milled grooves on the face reduce surface area impacting the ball, for a softer feel and crisp sound. 3 CLASSIC BLADES AND 3 REFINED MALLETS Premium style matters as much as performance. Each model is a blend of art and precision, crafted with classic styling and awe- inspiring aesthetics. REFINED TOP LINES AND PROFILES TP Reserve features refinements to top line thickness, face heights, blade lengths and radius shaping for premium styling and Tour- inspired details FOUR REFINED HOSEL COMBINATIONS Reserve offers four different fitting options via a combination of shaft and hosel designs for selective toe hangs. The new mid-length single bend hosel promotes easier setup and repetitive alignment. 303 SOLID STAINLESS STEEL Designed and machined with soft 303 stainless steel for sound and feel. PERFORMANCE SOLE WEIGHTING Use sole weights to fine tune swingweight to match putter length for optimal stability and performance.
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“Thankfully I had a backup,” Morikawa said. “A copy of what I’ve putted with in the past, pretty much the past year and a half. Felt like old times and nice to have that in the bag again.”

The switch had an immediate effect for Morikawa. In Round 2 Friday, he gained nearly three strokes on the greens, third best in the field. He picked up another 1.07 Saturday on his way to 69, the second-best round of the day, putting him a shot behind Scheffler as the two head to Sunday in the final pairing.

“Didn’t make the putts I necessarily wanted today,” he said. “Missed a few out there, but everything still feels comfortable. That’s the biggest thing is feeling comfortable going into tomorrow.”

Overall, he’s 7th in the field in SG: Putting, which combined with being No. 4 in SG: approach, usually leads to success for Morikawa, who has finished top-5 in the latter category every year of his PGA Tour career.

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Making changes to the driver and the 3-wood and the putter is a lot to take on during the week of (or during) a major, and Morikawa agrees. But he also has an explanation.

“Sometimes you’re searching, and I had to search,” he said. Morikawa won for the first time since the 2021 Open Championship in Japan last fall but has just one top-10 in seven starts this season. He finished T75 last week at the Texas Open.

“You have to find something. You know, where my game was last week, if I took it out here, first few days, I probably wouldn’t be here. I probably wouldn’t be playing today. So you have to find something.”

His switch certainly helped him find something. It probably helped that it wasn’t the first time he’d made such a change.

A reporter asked him: Have you switched putters mid-tournament before?

“Plenty of times,” he said, chuckling. “College was a fun one.”

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