Adam Scott plans long put­ter farewell tour at ma­jors

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY JIM SLATER

Adam Scott will use his long an­chored put­ter at Au­gusta Na­tional for one last week when the 79th Masters starts Thurs­day af­ter testing and re­ject­ing a con­ven­tional put­ter last month.

A ban on an­chored putting im­posed by golf’s rule­mak­ing bod­ies will begin next year, giv­ing the 34-year-old Aus­tralian a fi­nal sea­son to boost his ma­jor win to­tal with the putting style and long-han­dled equip­ment that helped make him a ma­jor cham­pion.

Sixth-ranked Scott, who be­came the first Aussie to win the green jacket when he de­feated An­gel Cabr­era in a 2013 play­off, used a con­ven­tional put­ter at Do­ral and tested dif­fer­ent grips for long and short putts at Bay Hill.

But he went back to a broom­stick­style put­ter to pro­vide max­i­mum con­fi­dence and com­fort for this year’s Masters.

“It’s very, very easy. It’s what I’ve been do­ing for four years,” Scott said. “I just switched up for three weeks, and so to go back was a piece of cake. And re­ally, two days prac­tice with it and I felt like I was at the lev­els I was at last year, which are very high, and that was the rea­son for it.”

Even with its days num­bered, the an­chored putting style gives Scott his best chance at victory and time to adapt for next year later.

“I’m com­ing to a ma­jor. I’m not here to throw the balls up in the air and see where they fall,” Scott said.

“I want to make sure I give my­self the best chance to per­form at the high­est level I need to to win. Ba­si­cally that will be with the longer put­ter be­cause I’ve done more prac­tice with it.”

Scott isn’t rul­ing out more tests and changes as the year pro­gresses, and he has had top-five ef­forts at the past three Bri­tish Opens, but his plan is to stay with the long put­ter as long as he can.

“Doesn’t mean I won’t work on other things or con­tinue to de­velop some al­ter­na­tive method of putting, be­cause ob­vi­ously there is a change be­ing made at the end of the year,” Scott said.

“But I need to con­tinue to per­form well. I want the con­fi­dence to build and go into next year fully con­fi­dent no mat­ter what I’m do­ing. So I’ve got time up my sleeve and it’s a bit of a process, and that’s fine.”

Scott said ad­just­ing to chang­ing green speeds was more dif­fi­cult with the con­ven­tional put­ter.

“I didn’t make that ad­just­ment quick enough, so I was a lit­tle out of my com­fort zone,” Scott said. “It was good info to have so I can plan for that the next time I part with a dif­fer­ent method, but I’m not re­ally sold on any­thing.

“When you go out to play, I’ve got to con­vince my­self that it’s the right way.”

There’s no tar­get date for a switch but his plan is to keep the long put­ter for the ma­jors.

“I don’t re­ally have any fixed idea on that,” Scott said. “At the mo­ment, I see my­self with the long put­ter.”

New Champs Din­ner Seat

Scott makes his 14th Masters start af­ter wel­com­ing new daugh­ter Bo Vera two months ago and will have Mike Kerr as cad­die af­ter New Zealan­der Steve Wil­liams re­tired.

But his big­gest change this week at Au­gusta Na­tional might just be at the Cham­pi­ons Din­ner. He won’t have the de­fend­ing cham­pion’s seat this time.

“I don’t know if I have to kind of fight for a po­si­tion around the ta­ble or what I’m meant to do,” Scott said. “But I’ll try not to step on any­one’s toes and get their noses out of joint. Pretty happy just to be there.”

Scott’s most re­cent victory came last May at Colo­nial when he was ranked num­ber one in the world, de­feat­ing Ja­son Dufner with a birdie on the third play­off hole for his 11th PGA tri­umph and 27th over­all world­wide.

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