As Webb Simpson begins a new chapter in his career with a regulation-length putter, a logical question arises: if things go awry, how long until he reverts back to the familiar belly putter?
The answer is clear based on Simpson's comments Friday at the Sony Open in Hawaii - the short putter is here to stay.
"The belly putter is broken. I broke it," Simpson said. "True story."
While the ban on anchored putting doesn't go into effect until Jan. 1, Simpson had no interest in waiting until the last minute to conform with golf's newest rule. But he also wasn't in a rush to abandon a successful strategy, having used the belly putter in each of his four PGA Tour wins, including the U.S. Open.
As he continued to vacillate in the offseason, Simpson took decisive action before heading to the Dunlop Phoenix event in Japan in November.
"I kept thinking in my head, just go one more year with the belly putter, you've had a great last four years ... So I felt myself kind of backing out, and I tried to justify it with, you know, all these things," he said. "In front of my wife, I snapped it over my knee."
While Simpson was ready to toss the two-piece putter in the garbage, his wife Dowd convinced him to hold on to the putter that helped make him one of the top players in the game.
"She said, 'No, no, we've got to keep it. You've done a lot of good stuff with that,'" he said. "So the broken belly putter is in my trophy case at home. It's on top."
Through two rounds in Honolulu, the short putter has proved equally useful for Simpson. He needed just 23 putts en route to an opening-round 62, and at 12 under will begin the third round tied for the lead with Matt Kuchar and Justin Thomas.