NORTON, Mass. – Tiger Woods’ famed Scotty Cameron putter was back in the bag for the opening round of The Northern Trust, even if it didn’t get any work last week in practice.
At the PGA Championship Woods opted for a different model putter that was slightly longer and had adjustable weights on the sole. That extra length, he said, allowed him to practice longer because it alleviated some of the strain on his fused back.
Woods had only one solid putting round at TPC Harding Park and ultimately never contended, tying for 37th. Last week, back home in South Florida, Woods still didn’t practice with his usual Newport 2 GSS, instead using the new putter as well as an old Wilson 8802.
“I switch back and forth between all of those,” he said. “I really do practice with my 8802 probably the most because I like feeling that toe release and I like putting with my right hand,” he said. “That’s basically my training aid, and then I went to a longer putter to get more reps in.”
But then he showed up at TPC Boston with his usual Cameron, the one with which he’s won 14 of his 15 majors?
“Just stubbornness, I guess,” he said, smiling.
Woods putted well Thursday, taking 29 putts and ranking 22nd in strokes gained: putting when he finished his round of 3-under 68. He felt comfortable over the ball and thought he had good pace all day on the quicker greens.
Yet the dilemma remains: Woods is competing with one putter, but practicing with others.
So, he was asked: Why not just re-shaft your gamer?
“That is a thought,” he said. “I’ve thought about doing that, but I don’t know. I just can’t do it. I’ve regripped it. I’ve sent it to Scotty to rebuild the hosel because I’ve thrown it a few times. But I’ve never dinged the shaft. That’s the same shaft for the last 21 years.”