The putter is the most powerful tool to help Collin Morikawa win the major The Open at Royal St. George’s par70 in Sandwich, England.

Morikawa lifts the Claret Jug trophy on July 18.  Photo: The Open

Morikawa lifts the Claret Jug trophy on July 18. Image: The Open

Morikawa is considered an “iron boss”, when he topped the PGA Tour this season in terms of approach play. However, he failed to promote his talent when he attended the Scottish Open and then finished T71 on July 11 in the first time competing for the title on the original coastal court (links).

Four days after the event in Scotland, Morikawa entered The Open, also on the links field. By the end of the tournament, he was T6 in his forte technical statistics, T5 in putter efficiency per standard green. And for the green handling part at The Open, Morikawa combines two types of putter grip. He uses the traditional style – right hand over left hand when holding the putter handle for situations beyond nine meters, and the “claw grip” style for shorter distances.

Scoring the last lap putter, Morikawa was highly effective at key moments – usurping Oosthuizen’s lead, then increased the lead and maintained the advantage until the end of the round.

He birdie on the 7th hole to the top of the table with sharp handling – bringing the ball close to the green on the second with an iron to direct the target for the third shot.

On hole 8, par4, Morikawa birdie again, after using iron to “2 on” and a putt.

Morikawa scores birdie on hole 8

On the 9th hole, the American golfer reached a series of three birdies. At this point, he leads to three sticks.

On the 10th hole, Morikawa kept a long-range par to maintain his advantage.

Morikawa holds a long-range par on the 10 . hole

Compatriot Jordan Spieth was one hole ahead, putting pressure on Morikawa, one stroke away by birdie on hole 14. But on the same hole, Morikawa paid the same point to double the distance.

Morikawa birdie on hole 14

Hole 15, Morikawa kept par despite hitting the dense rough grass before.

And on the 18th green, he nearly birdie from long range.

After a moment of regret, Morikawa finished with a light tap.

Morikawa almost birdie hole 18

In the oldest major, organized by Royal & Ancient since 1860, Morikawa gradually approached Louis Oosthuizen – the senior who continuously kept the top of the table with 67-64-68 strokes through three rounds. Finishing 54 holes, Morikawa scored -11, one stick away from the South African senior. On the closing day, the player born in 1997 scored four birdies, keeping par on the last hole also helped him complete the round without bogey and win the Claret Jug cup with $ 2.07 million.

With victory at Royal St. George’s, Morikawa became the first player to win a major in both appearances, last at the PGA Championship 2020. These two breakthrough victories are less than a year apart. Because of that, Morikawa is also the first golfer to reach two majors after eight attempts – the fastest golf peak since the Second World War. Tiger Woods had to go through 18 occasions to reach his second major.

Morikawa entered the PGA Tour in the first year of his professional career – 2019, so far owning five championships, including the PGA Championship and The Open.

Quoc Huy


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