GULLANE, Scotland – Driven in part by competitive necessity as well as regulatory reality, Carl Pettersson has made, at least temporarily, the transition to the conventional putter.
Pettersson, who has used a long putter since 1998 and has been one of the most outspoken critics of the recently approved ban on anchoring, used a standard-length model Sunday at the John Deere Classic.
“I hadn’t putted very good with the long one this year, so I just figured I’d give it a try on Sunday,” said Pettersson, who finished tied for 54th at the Deere but needed only 29 putts Sunday and was 18-for-20 from 10 feet and in.
Pettersson – one of nine Tour players who retained a lawyer for counsel as a result of the ban, which begins in 2016 – said he started tinkering with the short putter, a Rife Aruba model, at the Travelers Championship and plans to use it this week at Muirfield.
“I wasn’t planning on changing, but I just hadn’t putted all that well this year,” said Pettersson, who has dropped from 21st in strokes gained-putting in 2012 to 75th this year. “I figured I’d give it a shot now, especially with the decision and stuff. I was pleasantly surprised how well I putted on Sunday.”
Pettersson said he does have his long putter with him this week at Muirfield, “but it felt good last Sunday so I don’t see why it wouldn’t feel good here.”