Els back to short putter in battle with gremlins


ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Ernie Els is ditching the belly putter after missing cuts with it in his last two starts.

“I’ve gone with a short putter again,” Els said about his preparation for The Players Championship this week.

Els is 183rd in total putting on the PGA Tour this season.

“I think I’ve got too involved with my putting,” Els said. “I’ve always been a good putter, and for some reason there’s been so many gremlins in my head this year with putting. I don’t know if it’s a midlife crisis or what it is on the golf course, but it kind of felt like that a little bit.

“I went back to the drawing board this week, back to what I know. I feel very natural again.”

Els would like to find his form before this summer’s U.S. Open at Congressional, where in 1997 he won the second of his three majors.