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The Tour Report

August 14 2013

5:44 PM

Pettersson, Simpson test short putters

Carl Pettersson has won five times on the PGA TOUR with a long putter.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Webb Simpson first picked up a long putter when he was a freshman at Wake Forest. He found it in the pro shop at the Country Club of North Carolina and took to it instantly.

So Simpson has used the long putter for the last nine years. Carl Pettersson's been playing with his for 16.

With the USGA and R&A banning anchored strokes in 2016, though, the two former winners of the Wyndham Championship have been experimenting with short putters -- although Pettersson is the only one to use it in competition.

The Swede tried the short putter all four days at The Open Championship, as well as for a couple of rounds at the John Deere Classic and the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. The five-time PGA TOUR champ was pleased at how the testing went.

"But I'm back to my long and I just wanted to test it really for the ban coming up in a couple years," Pettersson said. "I'm more comfortable with long putters but my testing went well.

"... But since I've been using a long putter for 16 years I want to give it another couple years," he added with a chuckle.

Simpson, on the other hand, has yet to put the short putter in competition. But he has practiced with it a "little bit.

"I got a lot of time coming up that I won't be playing so I'll be working with it a little bit," the former U.S. Open champ said. "I've tried different putters and I like what I'm seeing. I just need some time to kind of grow into it and get used to it."

Simpson says he's already changed his irons, driver and 3-wood this year -- and he's about to switch irons again. So he's not afraid of change and he feels confident he'll be able to get comfortable with the shorter stick.

"Although the putting method is different, it doesn't change a whole lot," Simpson said. "I'm still reading the greens the same way, still trying to make putts the same way. 

"I think more than anything, just getting used to what, you know media, the fans and the public say about it. Got so much attention there for awhile it's kind of nice that it's dying down and hopefully come '16 there will be no more issues."