This year, I've had the best putting year of my life, Bryant said. And I've gone to the claw putter, or the claw grip almost full time. And it's helped me. I've eliminated the majority of my three putts.
Sure enough, Bryant ranks third on the circuit in putting this year. Last year, he finished 44th. The more the putts roll into the jar, the more money rolls into the jar.
In his most successful year on the regular tour, 1994 when he finished 18th on the money list, he was no better than 38th in the putting statistics. In 1995, when he won for the only time (Disney Classic), he finished 42nd. But the next, 1996, he was 169th.
The result of his vastly improved putting is that hes third on the Champions Tour money list. He just barely missed winning the first major title of his life, losing a playoff in the recent Senior PGA Championship.
The Claw does have its advantages, as befits Bryants sudden resurgence on the Champions. But he admits that it sometimes can be a disadvantage, too, particularly when the wind is howling such as it was during the Senior PGA.
There's no question, he said. And when you're putting the claw, you're a little more erect, your arms hang a little longer, a little lower, so have you a little more, you're kind of a little more elongated, the way you putt. And so you can't bend over as far.
The B of A will be played at the Nashawtuc Country Club, which has been its home since 1984.