By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Not everyone was sold on the belly putter.
Mark Anderson, who opened the year using one, shelved it midseason for a conventional one. That decision didn’t last long, though, with Anderson putting it back in his bag last week.
It turned out to be a timely move. Anderson shot 67 Friday at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, where he’s one of a number of players hovering near the lead at 9 under halfway through the season-ending tournament.
”I went back to the short putter because it felt really great and I made a lot of putts with it,” Anderson said. “The last month or two I've hit the ball very well, but I just haven't made the putts. So it was kind of a last minute do or die deal.”
At 170th on the money list coming into the week, Anderson needed a big week to have any hope of securing his card for next year.
The last time Anderson, who hasn’t always used a belly putter, put one in his bag was at the end of last year’s Web.com Tour season. He finished second at the Miccosukee Championship, then tied for seventh a week later at the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open Presented by Planters.
“I know I can putt well with it,” he said.
Friday, he missed just two putts inside 10 feet, and he made a couple beyond that range, too, on his way to 27 total putts after hitting 14 greens in regulation.
Said Anderson: ”I know I can putt well with the short putter, but in the meantime while I can still putt with it, I'm going to use it.”
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
In the year of the long putters, here’s one last success story – one that literally changed a career.
Mark Anderson, a second-year Nationwide Tour player, earned his 2012 PGA TOUR card last weekend at the Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island. He finished 22nd on the money list, with nearly half of his $188,550 earned in the final three events.
Just at the time he put a Titleist Kombi belly putter in the bag.
“It’s changed my life, basically,” Anderson explained in a video on the Titleist Tour blog.
Anderson finished second at the Miccosukee Championship, T7 at the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open presented by Planters and T29 at the season finale.
“I put it in one week, felt a little awkward with it, but I putted great. I’m still in kind of the finicky, playing with it mode, trying to figure it out. But the putter’s great.”
Sounds like it will be going to the TOUR along with Anderson.
WINNING GAMBLE: Ken Duke won the Nationwide Tour Championship, sending him back to the TOUR for the fifth time in his long career.
The 42-year-old had a Never Compromise Limited Edition Black Gambler Royal in his bag (at right), part of a limited edition of 500. The distinctive theme is executed with playing-card suits on the hosel and bottom of the putter.
SURGING: Jeff Overton put Cleveland’s 588 MB irons in play for The McGladrey Classic, where he finished T6. Then, playing as a last-minute replacement for David Duval, he finished runner-up at the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic.
WINNER’S BAG: Bo Van Pelt at the CIMB Asia
Driver: Titleist 909D2 8.5º (Mitsubishi Fubuki 73 shaft)
3-wood: Titleist 910Fd 13.5º (Mitsubishi Diamana Prototype 80 shaft)
Hybrid: Titleist 910H 17º (UST Proforce V2 104 shaft)
Irons: Titleist CB 4-iron; MB 5-P (Nippon NS Pro shaft)
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: TaylorMade Corza Ghost