Morikawa gets boost after watching Scheffler win Masters

golf15 April 2024 03:00
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Collin Morikawa© Gallo Images

A disappointing third-place finish at the Masters might have the seeds of reviving two-time major winner Collin Morikawa's form so he can rival top-ranked Scottie Scheffler.

Morikawa was in the last group alongside Scheffler in Sunday's final round of the Masters, getting a prime view of his US countryman's clutch four-under par 68 that delivered a four-stroke victory and a second green jacket.

"We put a lot of pieces of the puzzle together this week," Morikawa said after struggling to a 74 to share third, seven strokes adrift.

"After watching Scottie this week, I know what to do if I really want to close this gap on what he's doing and how impressive he's playing."

Scheffler, who has not had an over-par round since last August, produces plenty of birdie chances with little risk of trouble.

"He drives the ball plenty long, well past me. Hits his irons obviously spectacular. Keeps it simple," Morikawa said.

"Makes the putts when he needs to. If he doesn't, still has plenty of chances. And just never put himself in trouble."

Morikawa knows what it takes to win a major after capturing the 2020 PGA Championship and 2021 British Open.

But the world number 20 hasn't had a top-10 finish since sharing fifth in the season-opening tournament of champions and his only victory since taking the Claret Jug at Royal St. George's came in Japan at last October's PGA Zozo Championship.


"I fully believe that I still have it. I know I still have it," said Morikawa. "I've just got to keep digging a little bit deeper and really just be strong with myself.

"I think it's just a balance of everything between how the game feels and where the mental state is. It's just getting back in that groove.

"This week was a real big thing for me and I think I'm going to use this a lot in this next little stretch of golf, especially since majors, they all come one right after another."

Morikawa was undone by double-bogeys at nine and 11 at Augusta National after tying Scheffler for the lead with a birdie at the par-5 eighth following seven opening pars.

"None of my putts were dropping on the first seven holes," Morikawa said. "I was hitting good putts, and I thought at one point they would start dropping and they didn't.

"If I make a couple of those, it changes a lot of things. Who knows how the ending would have finished out? But that's just what you have to do when you're in a final round at a major championship."

For now, however, Morikawa admits Scheffler is the man to beat after his three total wins in six weeks.

"The way he's playing right now, it's impressive," Morikawa said.

"But to see what he's doing with his irons is crazy impressive because he's hitting every shot, he's moving both directions, and it's something that I admired that hopefully I can get my game back to that kind of spot."