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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 137
SOMEONE might need to give Adam Scott the number for Quitline. The 2013 Masters Champion is desperately clinging to his magic wand – the Scotty Cameron 52-inch putter that delivered him to the top of world golf - despite the fact that it’ll be a very expensive fire poker in less than a year’s time. A week after some very encouraging signs when he switched to a short putter and finished tied for fourth place at the Cadillac Championship, the Australian star bombed out of the Valspar Championship before the weekend – his first missed cut in 45 PGA Tour events, ending the longest active streak on tour. While Scott mused after his 4-over second round 75 that “it had to happen eventually”, it really shouldn’t have. But the closer he got to the cup, the worse he became, missing four putts of less than five feet in the second round. Last week at Doral his strokes gained from putting, in comparison to the rest of the field, was an impressive .775. Seven days later at the Valspar it was a bungling -5.178, leaving him ranked 141st out of 144 players in the key putting statistic over the first two rounds of the tournament. This could be Scott’s new reality: the complete absence of week to week consistency, and an absolute lack of confidence in what his putter may do for (or to) him once he reaches a green. But it’s unlikely he’s doing himself any favours by continuing to have his anchored putter in his travel bag every week. The world No.4 used the long putter in practice all week at Innisbrook and said he’d continue to use it as a training aid. “I see myself practising with it forever,” he admitted, and suggested it would probably be his weapon of choice at Augusta in a few weeks time. “It’s nice to have options,” he said. To most, that’s like a quitting smoker who wants to have the occasional cigarette to remind them why they’ve given up the darts. It just can’t work. And the even bigger problem for Scott is that unlike nicotine addicts whose only deterrent (aside from the health implications) for giving up cigarettes is the nasty picture on the packaging, Scott’s favourite product will be rendered illegal in a year’s time. To be fair to Scott, for a man seeking the ultimate success – another victory at a major – it’s hard to argue against clinging to the long blade for as long as possible. In his 11 professional seasons with a normal putter, he recorded just four top 10 finishes at majors, while missing the cut 14 times, including three times in 2009. Since switching over in early 2011 he’s had nine top 10 finishes, including runner-up results at the 2011 Masters and the 2012 Open Championship. And, of course, there was that watershed victory at Augusta two years ago. Scott said (outwardly, at least) that he’s not worried about the immediate slump that the switch to a conventional putter dredged out of his game. “I feel fine with it. It can happen. You can miss some short ones,” he said. “Obviously, it’s not what you want and there’s no excuse, but there’s a couple of things I’d like to make an adjustment with on different greens, different green speeds.” Let’s hope that’s all that is required, because he’s not getting any closer to his comeback victory with a regular putter while he’s still pining for its taller friend every time things get tough. OTG the VIEW SCOTT TO KNOW WHEN TO QUIT A WEEK AFTER ADAM SCOTT BEDAZZLED US WITH HIS ABILITY WITH THE SHORT PUTTER HE HAS US AGAIN SCRATCHING OUR HEADS. with Adrian Ballantyne OTG Senior Writer FLIP IT & RIP IT. TM Introducing our first-ever front-to-back FLIPZONETM adjustable weight technology. Flip the weight forward for a penetrating ball flight that generates more roll. Or, flip it back for a towering flight path and carry those hazards that used to get in your head. Its two settings deliver the perfect distance and trajectory for your swing. GAME CHANGED Find which setting is right for your game at cobragolf.com.au/fly-z
OTG Express 136
OTG Express 138