Two immediate thoughts about Phil Mickelson using the belly putter in the Deutsche Bank pro-am and, perhaps, beyond:
1. It was initially surprising, maybe because I hadn't really thought about it, but given a moment to think about it, how can it hurt?
2. After 35 putts the last time I played -- and having already gone to cross-handed with the previously mentioned results -- maybe I should try it.
In Mickelson's case, everyone knows he can miss it from anywhere and, too often, has. The case can be made that he's missed enough shortish ones through the years to have cost him a major or two, including the Open Championship in July.
With seemingly everyone using or at least trying belly putters, it's natural for Phil and his mad scientist side to give it go. He's seen what it's done for his buddy Keegan Bradley and others so it was natural for Phil to try it.
It could be the final piece of the Mickelson puzzle, the one thing that gets him from age 41 to the Champions Tour or thereabouts. Or maybe it's just a flirtation, somethign to convince him he's still more comfortable with the conventional style.
If Phil goes to the belly putter full time, it add more fire to the question of whether they should be legal or not. My hunch is they'll stay legal but I can see the case otherwise.
As for me, I'll wait on the belly putter. Everyone needs a last resort.
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Posted by Observer Sports at 6:35 PM