Why Tiger will reunite with his Cameron at PGA

Tiger Woods lines up a putt during Round 1 of the British Open.


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ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Regarding Tiger Woods and his putter switch at the British Open, here’s my fearless prediction:

Woods will reunite with his Scotty Cameron by Titleist Newport 2 before the PGA Championship in August.

Woods put a Nike Method 001 putter in his bag for the British Open, revealing he has been troubled by slow greens such as those at St. Andrews and saying the Method putter provided a faster roll. A curious statement considering he won the last two British Opens at St. Andrews by five and eight shots, respectively.

This needs some explanation. After all, most skilled players want a putter that allows them to make an aggressive stroke, not a hot putter that catapults the ball off the face.

The official story behind the Method is that the grooved putter face is filled with polymer, softening the feel but not inhibiting the ability of the grooves to grab the ball and initiate a quick roll rather than a skid. The Method 001 was used by two major champions in 2009 – Lucas Glover at the U.S. Open and Stewart Cink at the British Open.

Still, many players will use nothing but non-insert, metal-faced putters. For almost three decades, Scotty Cameron has specialized in making these putters.

Cameron did introduce a face insert called Teryllium, which is a copper alloy with a soft feel. In fact, Woods won his first major title at the 1997 Masters with a Teryllium insert in his putter.

Putters with this insert have been limited (the Teryllium 10 Newport 2 and Newport 2.5 are the latest), and Cameron has gained his fame with solid metal putters.

When Woods once again faces firm, slick greens, a return to his Titleist Cameron Newport 2 strikes me as a logical move. After all, he has won 13 majors and 72 tournaments worldwide with this putter, making it by far the winningest single putter in the history of men’s professional golf.

I feel confident in honoring Tiger’s Newport 2 because other prolific winners (Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, et al) were notorious putter switchers and won with a variety of putters.

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