Q&A: Bradley's Odyssey Sabertooth belly putter

By Jason SobelDecember 4, 2012, 4:00 pm

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – In the aftermath of a week which saw the U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club propose to ban anchored putting followed by Keegan Bradley nearly winning the World Challenge while anchoring, there was one main character that drew more focus than anybody else.

Upon the conclusion of the tournament, Bradley’s Odyssey Sabertooth belly putter sat down – OK, stood up – for an exclusive interview to discuss the recent news and his impending future.

Q: This must have been a whirlwind week for you. Have you been able to get a grip yet on what just happened?

A: Hey, my grip is one of my best physical attributes. But yeah, this week has been a roller coaster of emotions. First the proposal to ban anchored putting, then we nearly shove it right up the USGA’s, uh, belly by nearly winning the tournament. That would’ve been so sweet. But hey, I’ve got three more years of holing clutch putts ahead of me. People turn legal as they get older. Apparently we putters turn illegal. Well, some of us anyway.

Q: You know, you’re not going to be banned. You just can’t be anchored.

A: Yeah, yeah. Come on, man. Have you ever heard of a belly putter who didn’t go in the belly? That’s like me telling Mike Davis and Peter Dawson they can run golf’s governing bodies, but they can’t enforce rules. That’s their job! It’s what they do! My job is to be anchored to Keegan’s midsection and get the ball in the cup. And I’m damned good at it. Too good, actually. Maybe if I’d held back a little we wouldn’t be in this mess.

Q: But the USGA and R&A contend that this wasn’t a performance-based decision. Are you suggesting that’s untrue?

A: Suggesting? No, I’m saying it’s a fact! Let’s face it: My dad was out here on Tour three decades ago and nobody cared. In fact, people felt badly for him. He was the lovable loser of the flatstick fraternity. But I learned a lot from that stick. “Keep your head square and hit it firm,” he used to say. That’s exactly what I did at last year’s PGA Championship. I was so proud to be the first one from my family to win a major – I mean, even Keegan can’t make that claim – but as soon as we won, it was like a witch hunt to get rid of me. I guess it’s ironic that I’m the one who’s a broomstick.

Q: Speaking of that, did you hear that heckler yell, “Cheater!” at you guys from the gallery on Saturday?

A: Hear it? I felt it! As soon as those words drifted through the air, Keegan’s hands tightened like he was trying to choke the life out of me. That’s another thing: My critics all contend that using me takes the nerves out of making the stroke. Maybe my player should put his twitchy fingers all over those guys so they can feel how not nervous he really is. Anyway, I know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy who’s now a shower curtain rod. That heckler may want to be very careful stepping out of the tub, if you know what I mean.

Q: Did you see the USGA statement decrying the heckler for his “deplorable act”?

A: Yeah, those guys really have my back, huh? It’s like, we’re cool until they say we’re not cool anymore. I’m still waiting to find out if I’m just banned or going to be deported, too. They don’t call me Odyssey for nothing.

Q: What have the other clubs in your bag had to say?

A: Oh, they’re a great set of guys. They’ve been very sympathetic; they understand how hard I work. I mean, that 6-iron? Good dude, but he sees the light of day for about 45 minutes a week. And he doesn’t have to spend half his life with a butt end placed inside our player’s belly button. You think that feels good? I’m on a first-name basis with Keegan’s lint. That’s not normal, man. But I’m not complaining. I love my job.

Q: Any regrets over this whole episode?

A: No way. Some putters live for decades in the bags of 18-handicappers, getting pumped in celebration every time they make a 2-footer. I’ve been fortunate enough to win a major championship and compete on the game’s highest level. I’ll take a few years of this over a lifetime of being used to fish old Slazengers out of muddy ponds. I’m serious. Some of these amateurs expect us to go headfirst into murky, alligator-infested water just so we can pick up some waterlogged 30-year-old ball for them. No thanks. Not my idea of a good time.

Q: So what are you going to do come 2016?

A: I’ll find something. I’ve got a cousin who works as a walking stick for an old NBA power forward. Maybe he can put in a good word for me. I’ve also done some freelance work helping kids get Frisbees out of trees. Doesn’t pay much, but it kept me busy before Keegan got his hands on me. I’ve also got a little secret up my shaft.

Q: Can you reveal it?

A: I wasn’t going to, but why the hell not? You know that big golf ball that drops in Times Square every New Year’s Eve? Well, Dec. 31, 2015 is the last day I’m legal. Let’s just say I’ve got one final putt to make – and the whole world is going to see it.

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Watch: Tiger throws dart, pours in birdie at 8

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 18, 2018, 7:31 pm

Starting Sunday five off the lead, Tiger Woods teed off his final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a laced 2-iron and a par at No. 1.

Woods hit the green at the par-3 second but left himself a 50-foot birdie putt and a 6-footer to save par, which we walked in.

A two-putt 4 at the par-5 fourth gave Woods his first birdie of the day and moved him to 8 under for the week. Apparently energized, Tiger pulled driver at the short par-4 fifth and unleashed this violent swing.

A pitch from the thick rough hit a sprinkler head and stopped on the apron, leading to this birdie try, which fortunately hit the pin but unfortunately didn't fall.

Looking to pick up another stroke - or two - at the par-5 sixth, Woods took his drive 317 yards over the water and hit this second shot from 227 yards to 13 feet, leading to another two-putt birdie when his eagle try burned the right edge.

Returning to his trusty 2-iron, Tiger found the fairway at par-4 eighth and then threw this dart from 176 yards to 6 feet and rolled in his third birdie putt of the day to move to 10 under.

(More coming...)

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 18, 2018, 5:00 pm

Tiger Woods will start Sunday five off the lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. How will he follow up last week's runner-up? We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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McIlroy: Time for Tour to limit alcohol sales on course

By Ryan LavnerMarch 18, 2018, 1:50 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rory McIlroy suggested Saturday that the PGA Tour might need to consider curbing alcohol sales to stop some of the abusive fan behavior that has become more prevalent at events.

McIlroy said that a fan repeatedly yelled his wife’s name (Erica) during the third round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

“I was going to go over and have a chat with him,” McIlroy said. “I think it’s gotten a little much, to be honest. I think they need to limit the alcohol sales on the course, or they need to do something, because every week it seems like guys are complaining about it more and more.

Full-field scores from the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational: Articles, photos and videos

“I know that people want to come and enjoy themselves, and I’m all for that, but sometimes when the comments get personal and people get a little bit rowdy, it can get a little much.”

This isn’t the first time that McIlroy has voiced concerns about fan behavior on Tour. Last month at Riviera, he said the rowdy spectators probably cost Tiger Woods a half-shot a round, and after two days in his featured group he had a splitting headache.

A week later, at the Honda Classic, Justin Thomas had a fan removed late in the final round.

McIlroy believes the issue is part of a larger problem, as more events try to replicate the success of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which has one of the liveliest atmospheres on Tour.

“It’s great for that tournament, it’s great for us, but golf is different than a football game, and there’s etiquette involved and you don’t want people to be put off from bringing their kids when people are shouting stuff out,” he said. “You want people to enjoy themselves, have a good day.”

As for a solution, well, McIlroy isn’t quite sure.

“It used to be you bring beers onto the course or buy beers, but not liquor,” he said. “And now it seems like everyone’s walking around with a cocktail. I don’t know whether (the solution) is to go back to letting people walking around with beers in their hands. That’s fine, but I don’t know.”

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Confident Lincicome lurking after 54 holes at Founders

By Randy SmithMarch 18, 2018, 2:45 am

PHOENIX – Brittany Lincicome is farther back than she wanted to be going into Sunday at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup, but she’s in a good place.

She’s keeping the momentum of her season-opening Pure Silk Bahamas Classic victory going this year.

Her confidence is high.

“Last year, I won in the Bahamas, but then I didn't do anything after that,” Lincicome said. “I don't even know if I had a top 10 after my win in the Bahamas. Obviously, this year, I want to be more consistent.”

Lincicome followed up her victory in the Bahamas this year with a tie for seventh in her next start at the Honda LPGA Thailand. And now she’s right back on another leaderboard with the year’s first major championship just two weeks away. She is, by the way, a two-time winner at the ANA Inspiration.

Missy Pederson, Lincicome’s caddie, is helping her player keep that momentum going with more focus on honing in the scoring clubs.

“One of our major goals is being more consistent,” Pederson said. “She’s so talented, a once in a generation talent. I’m just trying to help out in how to best approach every golf course.”

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Pederson has helped Lincicome identify the clubs they’re likely to attack most with on the particular course they are playing that week, to spend more time working with those clubs in practice. It’s building confidence.

“I know the more greens we hit, and the more chances we give ourselves, the more our chances are to be in contention,” Pederson said. “Britt is not big into stats or details, so I have to figure out how to best consolidate that information, to get us exactly where we need to be.”

Lincicome’s growing comfort with clubs she can attack with is helping her confidence through a round.

“I’ve most noticed consistency in her mental game, being able to handle some of the hiccups that happen over the course of a round,” Pederson said. “Whereas before, something might get under her skin, where she might say, `That’s what always happens,’ now, it’s, `All right, I know I’m good enough to get this back.’ I try to get her in positions to hit the clubs we are really hitting well right now.”

That’s leading to a lot more birdies, fewer bogeys and more appearances on leaderboards in the start to this year.