April 17 2013
Get used to seeing Ernie Els with the belly putter for a while longer. (How/Getty Images)
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Ernie Els' run with the belly putter was supposed to come to an end following the final round of the Masters.
But following a week where he finished No. 3 in putts per per hole (1.53) at Augusta National and only recorded one three-putt, the four-time major winner decided to alter his game plan and keep the Odyssey White Hot XG No. 7 in the bag this week at the RBC Heritage.
"I think I was No. 1 in putting last week," Els said. "I really worked with Sherylle [Calder], my putting lady, and she got the message across what she wanted me to do and I really started feeling it. I was going to go with the shorter version this week, but I putter so nicely with it last week, I'm going to keep going with the belly."
With a potential anchor ban looming, Els started working with a conventional-length Odyssey Black Series i No. 1 at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship and officially put the putter in play for three rounds at the Chiangmai Golf Classic in Thailand.
Els' said the goal was to use the belly putter at the Masters — where he felt like it gave him a better chance to make puts on Augusta's green — and start working with the conventional putter shortly thereafter in preparation for the U.S. Open.
However Els' comments on Wednesday painted a completely different picture. Instead of gearing up for Merion with the conventional putter, Els will keep the belly in the bag for the foreseeable future.
"I'm really getting comfortable with both versions," Els said. "Back in most of my career I played very well with the short putter. I feel I can do that again. But it's going so well with the belly, I don't want to stop until they ban it."