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SANDWICH, England – Two of America’s top young players made dramatic adjustments to their short games this week to account for slower green speeds at The Open.
Xander Schauffele revealed earlier this week he’d switched back to a conventional-length putter and grip after experimenting with an arm-lock putter.
“There was no difficulty changing back. In all honesty, it might have been a good training aid for me those few tournaments,” Schauffele said on Thursday. “The greens are just too slow. I played the first two rounds at the Scottish Open with [the arm-lock putter], you just can’t load the shaft at all when you’re trying to hit a long putt over a ridge. It’s been a pretty easy switch going back.”
Similarly, Collin Morikawa started using a conventional grip when he has putts outside 30 feet this week, but is still using a saw grip when he’s closer to the hole.
“Last week I left so many putts short, and not just 4 or 5 feet short, 10 feet short. It’s not acceptable,” Morikawa said. “We figured out a conventional grip just has that little extra pop. I didn’t have to change anything mentally from 30 feet, it was that grip and that stroke produced something that just rolled off the face a little faster.”
Both players enjoyed solid putting days on Thursday and were tied for 13th in average putts. Morikawa was three shots off the lead after an opening 67 while Schauffele was tied for 32nd at 1 under par.