Last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, the ‘King of Kings’ held in Hawaii, showed how intense ‘mental game’ golf is. Colin Morikawa (USA), who was in the lead, made a no-bogey play until the 67th hole, but collapsed after committing three consecutive bogeys at the end of the game when the psychological pressure to win intensified.
An interesting fact is that holes 14 through 16, where Morikawa broke the line, were the least difficult of the 18 holes on the tournament course. It can be seen just by looking at the 44 under par on the last day of the three holes, except for Morikawa. Morikawa himself also caught 7 birdies in 14-16 holes until the 3rd round, but in the final round he hit 3 over par in one day. It goes to show that hole difficulty doesn’t really matter if your mentality is shaky.
Morikawa has a reputation for good iron shots on the PGA Tour. On the other hand, he is said to be unstable in his short game and putting. At the young age of 25, Morikawa, who won 5 tours, including 2 majors, failed to maintain a 5-stroke lead at the 2021 Hero World Challenge and allowed a come-from-behind victory, and his mentality began to crack.
Morikawa, who had doubts about himself because of this incident, recruited a putting coach and a short game coach separately to overcome this and practiced hard. On non-game days, 8 hours was good, and 9 or 10 hours were good too. That payoff came quickly at last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions. Morikawa was the only player who played no-bogey until the 3rd round and made a profit of 6.778 strokes only by putting. As a result, he took 1 eagle and 22 birdies over three days and faced the final round with a 6-stroke lead. 토토
However, Morikawa, who was shaken by John Rahm (Spain)’s strong pursuit, became a 180 degree different player as his composure was broken. Morikawa, who showed the best putting feeling with the changed putting grip (place the palm perpendicular to the putter grip and hold it), never putt more than 60cm in holes 7 to 17 of the final round. The uneasy short game also caught on at the decisive moment. In the 14th to 16th holes, where he hit the final blow, he made three consecutive bogeys within 75 yards. The trauma of the come-from-behind defeat turned Morikawa into an extremely ordinary player.
Morikawa did not avoid reporters, though. Instead of seeking an excuse or understanding from him, he honestly expressed his feelings by saying “I’m sad” and “I’m going to turn away.” And “a view that comes out at a decisive moment has to pay a high price. I learned the weight today.” Since Morikawa is young and talented, the ordeal that befell him seems harsher. Morikawa will play the second game of the season at the Farmers Insurance Open, which will be held at Torrey Pines in San Diego in late January after enjoying a vacation in Hawaii where she suffered misfortune.