June 26, 2018
By Jonathan Wall and Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
- Tiger Woods was using a TaylorMade Ardmore 3 in practice on Tuesday. (Keyur Khamar/PGATOUR.COM)
BETHESDA, Md. — Tiger Woods is considering benching the putter he won 13 of his 14 major championships with at the Quicken Loans National this week after a handful of tough weeks on the greens.
While his ball-striking has been crisp, Woods has struggled with his putting of late in his comeback season on the PGA TOUR – costing him any chance of adding to his 79 titles.
In his Tuesday practice round at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, Woods was spotted testing a TaylorMade Ardmore 3 – a mallet-style putter.
Woods' history with blade putters is extensive — from the PING Anser 2 he used as a kid to the Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS – every big putt over the course of his historic career has come with an Anser-style blade.
But after finishing at the back of the pack in Strokes Gained: Putting in the Wells Fargo Championship, the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide and the recent U.S. Open, Woods is flirting with a change.
“I’m trying something out. The way I’ve been putting, I wanted to look for a change. That’s all it is. It rolls it good. You never know,” he said during Tuesday’s practice round.
“It has a little more swing than my putter does. It feels good.”
Woods, who ranks 175th on TOUR in putts made inside 5 feet, revealed he spent a week testing putters in the Bahamas and the Ardmore 3 was the one he felt most comfortable with.
He arrived at the course with both putters in the bag and will make a game time decision on Thursday afternoon when he tees off at 1:20 p.m. in the opening round.
Given his practice in the Bahamas was on Bermuda greens and TPC Potomac has Bent putting surfaces, Woods still needs to be convinced to make the switch.
“I’ve been in this position many times where I’ve had three putters out and I’ve either gone with it or I haven’t gone with it on Thursday,” he said.
“I’m really going to give it a good test today and tomorrow because it’s not on Bermuda. This is very different. I just want to see how it rolls out here and put it through its paces.’’
You have to go back to the 2011 season to find the last time Woods used something other than a blade in competition when he briefly put Nike's Method 003 mallet in play. But that's the extent of his work with non-blade putters.
“I wanted something with more swing than mine. I like feeling that the toe is moving and swinging. It has a fraction more swing than mine does.
“It’s at my discretion. If I find something that helps me play better, so be it. If it doesn’t then it’s not going in the bag.’’
The new putter has a classic top line that's similar to Woods' blade with two wings in the back that expand the perimeter weighting for added forgiveness on off-center hits, while also reducing unwanted head twisting at the same time.
Two 2.5-gram adjustable weights can be found in the heel and toe, along with a single sightline in the cavity.
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