Putter key for Martin in U.S. Am run

TULSA, Okla. – Ben Martin usually isn’t known for his ability on the greens, but both Ben and his father, Jim, said Saturday that the flatstick has led them to the U.S. Amateur final. A couple days before coming to Southern Hills, Ben developed a new pre-shot routine that helped him see the line of his putts better. He used the new routine to shoot a nine-hole 31 at home, which convinced him put the routine in play at the U.S. Amateur.

“I’ve been getting behind the ball to take practice strokes instead of off to the side,” Martin said. “I usually take three practice strokes. This week, I’ve been taking five or six and holding the finish.”

The new routine came in handy Saturday as Martin made several crucial putts in his 5-and-4 victory over Charlie Holland. There was a 12-footer for par on the par-3 sixth hole, an 18-footer for birdie on the par-3 11th (after Holland had won No. 10 with a birdie) and a 12-foot par putt on No. 14 that ended the match. Martin won all three of those holes.

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