Morikawa to play Augusta his way at this year's Masters

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (Reuters) - British Open champion Collin Morikawa plans to take a new approach into his third Masters appearance this week and will stick to what he knows best rather than try to re-shape his shots while navigating Augusta National.

The twice major champion has decided to ignore the notion that golfers must play a draw -- which for a right-handed golfer like Morikawa is a ball flight that moves from a players' right to their left -- to find success at Augusta.

"I need to play my game," world number three Morikawa said during his pre-tournament news conference at the course.

"You hear how much you need to hit draws and you have to hit it high and you have to do certain things, but that's what I did wrong the past two years."

Morikawa finished a career-best share of 18th at last year's Masters after placing joint 44th on his 2020 debut and those results convinced him that if he wanted to secure the third leg of the career Grand Slam something had to change.

"It was just frustration of me missing a bunch of tee shots and thinking -- I was pretty much starting the hole uncomfortably," Morikawa said about draws off the tees.

"Like it's just not natural for me to do that. Doesn't mean I can't play it but when you're over a shot and you want to hit a fairway, and I can play it to my strength, why not?"

In just three years as a professional, the 25-year-old Morikawa has quickly established himself as one of the game's finest players.

After winning the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in 2020, Morikawa won the following year's British Open at Royal St George's, making him the only golfer in history to capture two majors on his first attempt at each.

Now Morikawa, who has five top-10 finishes in seven PGA Tour events this season, has come to the conclusion that he does not need to leave his comfort zone to find Masters success.

"Pretty much my week prep two years ago and last year was how do I hit a draw, how do I hit a high draw, how do I do this," said Morikawa.

"This year was a little different. This year I just made sure everything was finely tuned and I go out there and figure out how to play the course to my strengths. And that's the biggest thing that I've learned I think overall."

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022


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