August 13, 2011
PGA could get a bellyful
By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency
JOHNS CREEK, GA. - There could be some history made on the greens Sunday at the 93rd PGA Championship.
A men’s major could be won with an unconventional putter for the first time with two of the top three players -- co-leader Brendan Steele and Keegan Bradley, who’s in second -- using belly putters heading into the final round. A belly putter is longer than a normal putter and is anchored to a player's stomach.
Veteran Jim Furyk, who was near the top of the leaderboard until he double bogeyed the tough 18th hole, also uses a belly putter. Furyk wound up with a 3-over 73 and fell back to a tie for 13th place.
Veteran Adam Scott, who is tied for eighth after an even-par 70 Saturday, uses a long putter. Long putters are even longer than belly putters and are anchored to the sternum by the player wrapping their left hand (in the case of a right-handed player) around the putter and pressing it to his chest while the right hand swings the club.
Argentina’s Angel Cabrera used a belly putter grip on this putter when he won the 2009 Masters, but didn’t anchor the top of the putter in his abdomen.
The so-called “broomstick,” which has been controversial because some purists don’t think the club should be anchored against the body, has rejuvenated the 31-year-old Scott’s career. Since he started making putts again, he’s feeling less pressure to have to hit the ball close to the hole.
“I’m not too sure where I go from here if this doesn’t pan out for me,” joked Scott, who won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational last week. “Someone will have to invent something.
“But it’s within the rules at the moment and I’m very happy about that.”
That’s the long and short of it.