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March 27 2013

11:45 AM

Els switches to short putter -- for now

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

Ernie Els is giving up his belly putter for a traditional one.

The 43-year-old South African, who began using a belly putter in 2011 and won last year's British Open with it, told Sky Sports he plans to use a short putter at this week's Chiangmai Golf Classic in Thailand.

Els will switch back to the belly putter for the Masters, though with a possible ban on achoring in the future, Els said he wants to be prepared.

"Even if I won here this week, I will use the belly putter at the Masters simply because the greens are so quick over there," he said. "But after the Masters, I'll try to use the short putter more regularly."

Els returns to the Masters after failing to qualify last year for the first time in 18 years.

"I think I used to put so much pressure on myself," Els told Sky Sports. "This year, I just want to enjoy it a bit more. I used to really try to win the tournament.

"My record in the majors is quite good. But at the Masters, it hasn't been good in the last 10 years. I finished second in 2004 and 2000. After '04, something mentally happened. I haven't played well since '04 when Mickelson made that putt (to win). But after missing it last year and going back again this year, it feels like a new beginning."

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