Adam Scott almost won the Masters with a long putter, something we all know has not happened in a major championship contested by male flatbellies. Obviously, the Golf Gods intervened, because how else to explain how one of golf's biggest talents, most humble, most handsome, severely overdue, sweet-swinging stars loses to a right-handed, animal-killing, Mike Weir clone during an otherwise epic week of golf.
The long putter debate has been stirred up by Scott's almost-win and a lightly reported change for World No. 2 Lee Westwood. Pond Scrummers Huggan and Elling:
Elling: That broom putter has turned Scott's career around. Yet, as we both know (sing it loud, all together now): No player has ever won a major championship with a long putter. But Tim Clark and Adam Scott have both finished second at the Masters with one. It's going to happen someday. That said, I would love to see it abolished. A major win by a broom putter might do the trick. By the way, Lee Westwood used a belly putter Sunday. He joined the long-stick club. I say let's make the long sticks go long gone.
Huggan: Yes, but I remain confident that the great golfing god in the sky simply won't allow one of those things to win a major.
Elling: After Sunday, more than ever, I believe there actually is a golfing god in the sky (he doesn't carry a 2-iron, either). Enjoying watching his children of all makes and models fight it out on Sunday. Somewhere in Antarctica, a child is hitting balls in the snow and saying, "maybe it'll be me, someday." So let it someday come to pass.
I'm glad the long-putter is helping to unlock Scott's potential, but it would not have been kosher for the Masters champ to be wielding one. Then again, the accompanying outrage may have finally gotten these abominations banned once and for all.
Steve DiMeglio writes about Scott's change and the thinking behind it as he defends in Texas.
With his 49-inch Scotty Cameron Kombi anchored just below his chin by his left hand, and the pendulum putting stroke ignited just below his waist by his right hand, Scott tied for third in average putts per hole (1.54) while finishing in a tie for second two strokes behind Charl Schwartzel. In his last start before the Masters, the putter also was working as he tied for sixth in the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Personally, I have nothing against the long putter. Just as I think someone should be allowed to hit a 55-inch long driver or use a 60 degree wedge if they have the skill (most don't).
What I do object to is the bracing of such a club against the body. While certainly not as costly for the game as the failure to better regulate distance increases, a case could be made that allowing the bracing of the putter against the body is the USGA and R&A's greatest "miss."
Thoughts? Should this be something the governing bodies revisit as we see more and more short-game deficient stars turn to the long putter, or is the failure to win a major the ultimate indictment against bracing long putters against the torso?