Playing in his very first Open Championship, America’s Collin Morikawa lifted the Claret Jug at Royal St Georges with a score of 15 under par.
The 24-year-old from Los Angeles fired rounds of 67, 64, 68 and 66 around the Kent links to win by two shots from fellow American Jordan Spieth, with long-time leader Louis Oosthuizen tied for third with Spain’s Jon Rahm two shots further back on -11.
In winning The Open just a year after winning the PGA Championship, Morikawa became the first player in men’s golf history to win on his debut in two different majors, the second player to win the PGA Championship and Open Championship before the age of 25, and the first player to win two majors in eight starts or fewer since Bobby Jones.
Morikawa, who is a TaylorMade staff player, made a significant change to his irons set up this week following his first links experience at last week’s Scottish Open and it clearly paid off. Working with TaylorMade’s Sports Marketing Representative Adrian Rietveld, Morikawa was looking to improve his centre strike on his mid and short irons on the firmer and tighter links turf.
Prior to this week, Morikawa had a P series combo set consisting of P770 4 iron, P7MC 5-6 and then P730 7-PW. After some discussion and watching Morikawa go through his warm-up routine, Rietveld noticed the issue could be in the transition from his 6-iron (P7MC) to his 7-iron (P730) due to the different sole geometry of the two models.
Rietveld said: “It was interesting, as he was warming up, the sound off the P730 was not Collin-like. It’s strange to say this, but it was just fractionally different to what I’m used to hearing. Then he goes into the P7MC and you can hear the strike come back. Let’s say a 7-iron spins at 7,000rpm and launches at 14 to 15 degrees, then when he hits the draw, which is a slightly lower window, he’d probably spin the P7MC about 6,600rpm. But with the P730, he was at 6,200 to 6,300rpm which was too hot in the air. The spin in the P7MC was aiding his distance control. That’s something he really needs to know.”
Speaking about the set-up change, Morikawa said: “I changed to the P7MCs strictly because I couldn’t find the centre of the face with my blade irons. I was hitting these iron shots last week 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 Open Championship was adding weight to his TP Juno putter. Playing on the PGA Tour’s faster greens all year, when he played at the Scottish Open the week before, he struggled to get the ball to the hole on the slower links greens.
Again, working with TaylorMade’s tour team, Morikawa switched the weights in from 2.5g heel and 2.5g toe to the heavier 7.5g heel and toe weights adding a combined 10g in total.
“It’s a learning process. Links greens can be slow and you’ve just got to figure out how to putt. I feel like my putting stroke has been good. I just had to figure out speed, and I was able to hit some good putts with speed with the new set up.”
COLLIN MORIKAWA’S WINNING GEAR
Driver: TaylorMade SIM (8°)
Fairway Woods: TaylorMade SIM 3 (14°), TaylorMade SIM2 5 (19°)
Irons: TaylorMade P770 (4), P7MC (5-9), P730 (PW)
Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (50°), MG2 Hi-Toe (60°)
Putter: TaylorMade TP Juno
Ball: TaylorMade TP5 2021