The most memorable image from Sunday’s final round of the Barclay’s Championship was Tiger Woods dropping in pain after his 5-wood approach to the par-5 13th. Already the naysayers are wondering if Eldrick didn’t milk that for all the drama he could. (For which I loudly scream, “No way.”)
The winner of the Barclays and this year’s Masters’ champion, Adam Scott, did much to cement his claim as Player of the Year. Another win in the Fed Ex Cup can nail it down. But Scott, to my dismay, uses a long putter, one that’s anchored against his chest.
I have already stated my case against anchored putters, which, succinctly is this: You can anchor a putter against your body as long as you anchor all the rest of your clubs against your body in a very similar manner. (Goodbye 300-yard drives.)
Yet Scott’s long putter and Tiger Woods’ back might be connected in more ways than one. About ten years ago I was on the putting green at Hilton Head talking with Rocco Mediate, one of the first to use the long putter, its benefit to him was that it saved his back. He could practice putting for hours and not strain himself.
Woods has come out against the long putter. His back has come out against super-hard torqueing during high-tension, difficult shots like the 250-yard high-fade over water at No. 13. When it comes to pursuing Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors, maybe Tiger should reconsider the merits of a long putter…at least until it's banned from competition in 2016.