Date: November 29, 2017
Author: Martin Blake

Scott to use long putter again

align="left" />

Adam Scott has unleashed a bombshell by saying that he will return to his controversial long putter for this week’s Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast.

Scott ditched the putter in 2015 just before the governing bodies’ ban on anchoring putters came into force on January 1, 2016.

But at Royal Pines this week he has been photographed practising with a long putter, and at a press conference today, he confirmed that it was in his plans.

“Yeah, I think I might give it a run this week,’’ said Scott, the 2013 Masters champion.  “I haven't done that much work with it but it feels pretty good out there.  Yeah, I think it might make the grade this week, definitely feel very comfortable with it. ‘’

Asked why he was making the change, Scott cited the form of Senior Tour players Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron with long putters. But he did not mention that both Langer and McCarron have suffered worldwide criticism for their use of the implements, and accused of anchoring.

He may well face the same scrutiny if he goes ahead and uses the long putter. While the putter itself is legal, anchoring to the chest is not. Both Langer and McCarron say that they move the putter far enough away from their bodies to make it legal, and Scott has practised a similar method.

The Queenslander was considering using a long putter (and not anchoring) when the ban came in place in 2016, but ultimately moved to a regulation-length putter.

“I've just noticed like everybody else that Bernhard Langer and Scott McCarron make everything they look at and have done since the anchoring ban and moving it away from the body,’’ he said. “So it was actually pointed out to me that this year they both recorded the best ever putting stats since stats have been kept.  Both of them beat the old best.  You know, I don't know if it's just a coincidence or if they had just a really good year, but maybe they've found the best way to putt.’’

Scott also clarified his position on attending the Emirates Australian Open, where his absence caused some criticism of the tournament in media. It was his first missed Open for a decade.

“I know it's the Aussie Open and it's a very dear tournament to any Australian, but sometimes you just can't play them all,’’ he said. “I've been away I think too much from my family and I had to decide not to play last week purely for that reason and try and get my commitments elsewhere all taken care of so I get the most time with my family.

“I'm sure I'll play a lot of Australian Opens in the future and I've played a lot in the past, too, so there's nothing really more than that.’’

Scott never believed that long putters should have been banned; in fact he argued the case personally to the R and A at an Open Championship. When the ban on anchoring was introduced by the R and A and the USGA, he sent his long putter to the R and A’s retiring secretary, Peter Dawson, as a memento.

The Australian PGA Championship tees off tomorrow at Royal Pines.