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March 15 2013

8:43 PM

Friday observations

 

Harris English makes a motion like a bowler when lining up putts. (Stan Badz/PGA TOUR)

By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

PALM HARBOR, Fla. -- K.J. Choi knew he had to make a change.

Choi was ranked 98th in strokes gained-putting and was losing confidence. So he made a change. A big change. He switched to a modified claw grip.

Choi had struggled with his wrist breaking down, particularly on right-to-left putts. The grip is admittedly a work in progress but his confidence is growing. Choi took 25 putts in the second round and one-putted all the par 3s on the back nine, including two for birdie.

OBSERVATIONS

Bowling: Harris English has an unusual pre-shot routine before he putts. He stands behind of the ball and looks at the cup while he makes a motion with his right hand that resembles bowling. Harris calls it “being more athletic.” He says in every other sport you look at the target, and he likens it to throwing a football or shooting a basketball. The bowling motion helps him get a feel for the stroke and distance. That putting stroke helped English birdie four of five par 3s in the second round.

Confidence: Matt Kuchar has the most valuable asset any golfer can possess: confidence. He was 2 over for the round and 3 over for the championship as he began his final nine holes of the second round. Instead of pressing, he had confidence the birdies would come. And they did.

Kuchar birdied the first hole and then added birdies at Nos. 2 and 3. He parred the fourth and fifth holes but went on another three-hole tear with birdies at Nos. 6, 7, and 8. Kuchar said he knew he was playing good golf and had the confidence birdies would come if he stayed patient. He came home in 31 and went from missing the cut to being in contention in a 2-hour stretch.

Scrambling: Adam Scott says he worked on two things this winter: surfing and short game. I don’t know how the surfing came along but his short game is greatly improved. Scott is ranked ninth in scrambling this year after being 123rd in 2012. The ability to get up and down has affected his strategy on the golf course. Scott says his newly honed scrambling ability means he can play conservatively and not force shots during his round. Scott was impressive on Friday playing the par 5s. He birdied every one of them.

Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.

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