Furyk, Mickelson back to using short putters
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Jim Furyk and Phil Mickelson played their Day One matches in the Presidents Cup brilliantly, but the biggest surprise was the fact that the pair had only 24 putts in a 4-and-3 win using not belly putters, but conventional putters.
Each had struggled with putting in 2011. Furyk ranked 150th on Tour in the strokes-gained category and was outside the top 100 in almost every other putting statistic.
For Mickelson, the results were similar to Furyk's. Ranked 134th in strokes gained in 2011, Mickelson had some bright spots but generally was not up to Lefty's standards.
So Mickelson decided to go back to the short putter, beginning with last week's Barclays Singapore Open. The left-hander decided that the belly-putter would travel but not likely get off the bench in the future.
"I will probably be using the short putter from here on out, but I will travel with the long putter," Mickelson said. "I'll hit practice putts with it almost every day. It frees up my stroke and gives me a good feeling of release, whereas my bad habit has always been to drag the putter with my top hand. This allows it to swing freer, and because of that, I will be using it as a practice aid."
Furyk, who had used the long putter all year, decided after his trip to the HSBC Champions in Shanghai that he would return to the short putter.
"I got through China and just kind of reassessed," he said. "I had a lot of time on the flight to think about it. I felt like I was hitting some of the same poor putts that I was with the short putter."
Furyk continued to exhibit some of the bad habits and hit some of the same poor putts with the belly putter, so he decided to go back to the beginning.
"I kind of had a couple of ideas on how to combat that," Furyk said of the bad habits. "Talked to Dad and went to work with an open mind. It's going to take time. It's a work in progress."