Why Collin Morikawa switched putters mid-Masters

Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa pulled a Masters surprise when he brought out a new flatstick for the second round at Augusta National.

And the change appeared to work a treat as Morikawa put himself in contention for the Green Jacket.

After beginning the Masters with a new mallet putter, he switched to a familiar blade for the second and third rounds, shooting 70 and 69, respectively, to secure a berth in Sunday’s final pairing.

Morikawa’s three-round total of 6-under 210 put him one behind 54-hole leader Scottie Scheffler, and though he eventually finished in fourth after a final 74, he spoke positively about his change going into the final day.

“I came into this week not putting well or not feeling comfortable with the putter that I had in my hands,” Morikawa said after the third round. “Went full 180, switched to the mallet, switched to the Spider, and was feeling great, to be honest. 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 (the opening round, which extended into Friday morning) … I just wanted to get the putter out of my hands because I couldn’t get comfortable with it. And thankfully I had a backup … 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.”

Early in the week, Morikawa was photographed using a TaylorMade Spider Tour X mallet with a short plumber’s neck, the same kind that Scottie Scheffler used to win last month’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Morikawa had been using a blade putter all year, so switching to a mallet came as a surprise. The California native began the season with a TaylorMade TP Soto blade-style putter, which he played throughout 2023, but he introduced a new Logan Olson prototype blade at the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard.

Morikawa used the Logan Olson putter for his next two tournaments, THE PLAYERS and the Valero Texas Open, but he arrived at the Masters with the TaylorMade Spider Tour X as his go-to.

The new mallet saw use in practice rounds, the Par 3 Contest and Thursday’s opening round, but Morikawa returned to his trusty TaylorMade TP Soto blade for the second round. The decision appeared to work, as he recorded the second-lowest score on Friday and was among the leaders in Strokes Gained: Putting, according to Data Golf.

In Saturday’s third round, he was one of just two players to break 70, with a 3-under 69 bettered only by Chris Kirk (68). His performance on the greens was probably erratic at times, but so was the rest of the field.

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