Other Sports

Adam Scott adjusting – again – to shorter putter

Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson reaches greets fans as he walks to the 10th tee during Tuesday’s practice round at Augusta National Golf Club.
Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson reaches greets fans as he walks to the 10th tee during Tuesday’s practice round at Augusta National Golf Club. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Adam Scott is at peace with his putter.

Scott has switched back to a standard-length putter this season, as mandated by the U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club, which banned the practice of anchored putting at the beginning of the year.

It’s working well for Scott, who already has back-to-back victories in the Honda Classic and WGC-Cadillac Championship as he heads into the Masters tournament this week.

“I guess it’s been a little bit of a process, but I would say I’m fully through that transition period,” said Scott, the 2013 Masters champion. “The way I feel is no different than when I was with the longer putter. The routines, practice, the drills, they are all the same. It’s just the shorter shaft. It might sound simple, but that’s how I’m trying to keep it.”

Scott went back-and-forth between the long and short putter over recent seasons. After going with a short putter for the first 10 years of his career, he began using a long putter in 2011. After the ban was announced in 2013, he switched to a short putter at the beginning of the 2015 season. Unhappy with his results, he switched back to the long putter later that season.

Now, forced to go with the shorter putter again, Scott is 42nd in strokes-gained putting per round, a huge improvement from 157th, which is where he finished last season.

“As I look back in time, I know what I did wrong and why I got myself in frustrating streaks with the putter – where I putted poorly,” Scott said. “I’ve enjoyed some success with (both). So I try to learn from that, learn from all the good stuff I did using the long putter and put it all together and hopefully I’ll be a much better, much more consistent putter.”

Notes

▪ Phil Mickelson practiced Tuesday with Dustin Johnson and amateur Bryson DeChambeau, who in 2015 became the fifth player in history to win the NCAA title and U.S. Amateur.

Mickelson said DeChambeau, who played at Southern Methodist, uses very precise terms when talking about golf.

“Bryson and I were talking about some of the science of an uphill putt and a downhill putt and the break and so forth,” Mickelson said. “He was using some pretty scientific terms and Dustin kind of shook his head and said, ‘If I hang around you guys much longer, I’ll never break 100.”

▪ The only other players to win the NCAA and U.S. Amateur titles are Mickelson (Arizona State), Jack Nicklaus (Ohio State), Tiger Woods (Stanford) and Ryan Moore (Nevada-Las Vegas).

▪ Rain and wind are a possibility for Thursday’s first round.

“I love playing in the wind,” said Rickie Fowler. “I’ve played a lot growing up in junior golf and in college (Oklahoma State). You have to be on top of your iron play, controlling ball flight and hitting solid shots. This is already a place that demands that without wind.”

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

  Comments