Love experimenting with belly putter

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ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – To be clear, Davis Love III is not anchoring that belly putter he is wielding this week at the McGladrey Classic, nor is it even his.

The putter belongs to Brian Bateman, who left the implement in his manager’s office and set up Love’s transition to “something different.”

Love put the putter in play during Monday’s pro-am at Sea Island Resort at the urging of his brother, Mark, and currently ranks first in putts per greens in regulation and is tied for second place one stroke behind frontrunner Arjun Atwal.

“After the British (Open) last year I asked Mark, ‘What am I going do?’” said Love, who has posted rounds of 65-66. “He just wanted me to try something with a different look.”

Love said the putter is just long enough to sit below his shirt and that it’s the weight, not the extended shaft, that has helped. He made eight birdies with it during Monday’s pro-am and does not have a three-putt through two tournament rounds.

“I hope Brian doesn’t think I stole it,” Love said.