Adam Scott gaining strokes with the flagstick in

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Adam Scott gaining strokes with the flagstick in

PGA Tour

Adam Scott gaining strokes with the flagstick in

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SAN DIEGO — Adam Scott has gained strokes for four consecutive rounds with flagsticks resting in the Torrey Pines cups.

“You could probably stroll through my career and not find four straight rounds of strokes gained putting,” the 38-year-old Australian said after a Torrey Pines North 66.

The round has him 8-under-par through 36 holes of the Farmers Insurance Open, seven back of leader Justin Rose but feeling practically buoyant about putting that has often been a struggle since the 2016 anchoring ban.

While playing partners Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy putted with the pin in, Scott used a claw grip with a traditional putter and only once —mistakenly — putted out at Torrey Pines with the stick in.

For as much as he laments the decision to ban anchoring, Scott has no problem crediting the new Rules of Golf for freeing up his stroke.

“I’m learning as I go, trying to be objective to see if there’s benefit in it,” he said after his second straight 28-putt round. “Some of it’s psychological and more than just the pure science. I don’t know if that’s even provable.”

What can be proven: Scott the putting-tinkerer is 14th in Strokes Gained Putting through two rounds and sounds confident on putts five feet and in, but also in using the flagstick to help with reading putts.

“It’s like there’s a backboard there,” Scott said. “If it’s a breaking putt or if it’s a straight putt, I can aim at [the flagstick] running off the vertical in the dead center of the hole. It’s a nice reference. If it’s a breaking putt halfway between, it’s easier to identify, “Oh it’s that’s left edge, that’s left center,” so the line is in between those two.”

Playing behind Scott for two days, Tiger Woods was noticeably intrigued by the sight of Scott putting with the flagstick in. He’s not as committed to the notion. Yet.

“I’ve talked to some of the guys who are using it all the time like Bryson (DeChambeau) and they’ve for some reason, I guess when you’re younger, it’s easier to make a change, you haven’t been playing under these rules for such a long period of time.”

For Adam Scott, the new rules are making a longtime tinkerer feel young again.

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