This putter spearheaded Collin Morikawa’s resurgence at Concession
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Collin Morikawa returned to the winner’s circle on Sunday for the first time since the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park last August. But it was not his victory at the WGC-Workday Championship alone that drew attention.
On an emotional Sunday in which many of the game’s top players paid homage to Tiger Woods with their apparel, equipment, or post-round comments, Morikawa joined Tiger as only the second golfer ever to win a major championship and WGC event before the age of 25. The ascending 24-year-old pro has now won as many times in his first 41 events as Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth combined.
Morikawa’s ballstriking is already the stuff of legend — he ranks first on Tour in strokes gained: approach through the early portion of 2021, which should not come as a surprise given the reporting GOLF.com’s Jonathan Wall has done on his robot-like dispersion — and his driving accuracy ranks in the top 15 on Tour. If there’s a weakness in his game, it’s around the green. He loses close to a half-stroke per-round putting, ranking 191st on Tour in that category.
“I’m always concerned about my putting, I’ll be honest,” Morikawa said after his victory Sunday. “I think I always have. But that’s because I’ve never felt comfortable. I’ve never felt comfortable. And you guys have all seen it.”
But this week at Concession, a slight shift in Morikawa’s grip took his putting game from among the worst in the field to among the best. Over his final three rounds at the WGC-Workday Championship, he averaged 1.625 strokes gained: putting. Holding a two-stroke lead at the 54-hole mark, Morikawa’s rock-rolling got even better on Sunday. A final -round 69 sealed his victory, thanks in large part to a bogey-free, one-under back nine that successfully warded off chasers Viktor Hovland and Brooks Koepka.
“That’s why I’m so excited about this, because, yes, I’m going to have bad putting weeks here and there, but overall I feel way more confident,” he said. “Especially like on a putt like on 18, just to really roll the putter and get it rolling down the line.”
But the grip isn’t all that’s changed in Morikawa’s putting game. After winning the PGA Championship with a Taylormade TP Juno putter in his bag, the 24-year-old flipped to his current flatstick, the Taylormade Spider FCG. The “FCG” in the putter’s name stands for “forward CG”, which Taylormade touts as providing mallet-like forgiveness with a blade-like feel. The Spider FCG also features a unique topline to aid vertical and horizontal alignment to the ball, as well as an adjustable sole plate for securing personalized feel.
For those in the midst of a putting resurgence, those on the brink of history (or both), the Taylormade Spider FCG is a proven confidence-builder — at least according to Collin Morikawa.
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