Collin Morikawa opens up on his struggles, a coaching change and contending at the Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Collin Morikawa thanked the locker-room attendant at Augusta National as he packed up his belongings Sunday night.

As he stuffed dirty shirts into his bag, Morikawa, who shot a final-round 2-over 74 and finished T-3 at 4-under 284 in a tie with Max Homa and Tommy Fleetwood, paused to talk about his struggles on the course, firing his swing coach and nearly winning the third leg of the career Grand Slam after a hitting a new low last week.

“I’m in a transition,” Morikawa told Golfweek when asked who he’s working with now. Morikawa confirmed that he parted ways with Mark Blackburn, who he’d hired after last year’s Ryder Cup. Under his tutelage, Morikawa won the Zozo Championship in October but he’s hit a lull of late.

“When I went to Mark and Mark is amazing, one of the most knowledgeable people in the golf world I’ve ever met, I learned a lot but I figured out quickly that for me it’s not really knowing more, it’s remembering who I was,” he explained. “I just had to take a step back and start from the basics again. It worked out (for 62 holes).”

2024 Masters

Collin Morikawa on the No. 7 green during the final round of the 2024 Masters Tournament. (Photo: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Network)

Morikawa said he’s talked by phone with former coach Rick Sessinghaus a few times, but hasn’t formalized whether they will work together again just yet.

“I’ve seen the top of the top and I know it’s still there,” said Morikawa, who won the 2020 PGA Championship and 2021 British Open. He reached No. 2 in the world but entered the Masters at No. 20. (He vaulted to No. 13 after the Masters).

Morikawa shared the lead at 7 under after making birdie at No. 8 on Sunday, but he made double at the ninth and Scheffler made birdie and he headed to the second nine trailing by three.

“Greed got the best of me,” he said in his post-round news conference. “Nine, can’t miss it over there and can’t leave it in the bunker. 11, just tried to hit too perfect of a shot. It’s not like at that point I was trying to press. I knew where I stood. Yeah, just can’t do that. In the past I haven’t done it, but kind of where the game’s at.”

Morikawa’s game has been in a bad spot. He’s looked lost and spoke on Saturday after his round about hitting the ball aimlessly. He entered the Masters having missed the cut with an 80 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and finishing back of the pack at the Valero Texas Open.

“I used to walk by a bunch of players on the range and wonder why they hit so many balls. That’s pretty much become me,” Morikawa said. “JJ [Jakovac, his caddie] asked me last week at the Valero (Texas Open) if I’ve ever hit the ball that bad, and I never have in my life. I can’t think of one moment in my life since I started golf. Last week was truly, I thought I’ve seen lows but from a ballstriking standpoint that was a new low for me.”

Morikawa recounted on Saturday how he and Jakovac found something on the range Monday. Asked to disclose what exactly he found, he declined. But he said he would take a lot of positives from the Masters.

“I saw a lot of good shots this week. It’s close,” he said. “To be able to contend with what I had last week? Absolutely I can take some positives.”

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