Has Adam Scott already shelved the long putter?
It certainly appears that way, after the Australian showed up to his hometown Open on Tuesday in Sydney with a conventional putter that was slightly longer than standard length.
According to multiple media reports, Scott employed a claw-style grip with his bottom hand (see photo above) and his top hand clearly separated by a few inches. He then went out on the course for a practice round with Tom Watson. (Scott was not available for comment after his round, according to local reports.)
This method would be allowed under the new rules, of course, because the putter is not affixed to a part of the body. Scott had told reporters previously that he would continue to anchor the long putter to his sternum, even if it was outlawed by golf’s governing bodies. The proposed rule wouldn’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2016.
Scott began using the long putter in February 2011 and experienced plenty of success. Two months after putting the club in play, he tied for second at The Masters – at the time, his best-ever finish in a major – and went on to win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and earn $3.7 million. This season, he nearly won the British Open, closing with four consecutive bogeys Sunday at Royal Lytham to lose by one.
Even with the long putter, Scott was ranked 148th in the Tour’s strokes gained-putting statistic. He was 143rd in 2011 after converting, but both years represent an improvement over 2010, when he was 186th with the conventional putter.