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Putter Buzz: Sergio Sizzles at Last

Sergio Garcia finds his putting mojo, Phil Mickelson gets a “new” flatstick, and Rife rolls to victory again. Heres the latest Putter Buzz on the PGA Tour and beyond:

1. Bravo to Sergio Garcia for sinking some crucial putts to help secure a victory at the Players Championship. After dating several putters and committing polygamy earlier this year with two putters in his bag, Garcia seems to have settled into a putting groove under the tutelage of short-game guru Stan Utley, who has urged Garcia not to get too caught up in mechanics. Some folks will say that Garcia’s putting performance over the past four days was less than stellar, but you can’t argue with the paycheck or the trophy. In the past, his putter has often failed him at crucial moments. Yesterday, it didn’t. He sank a seven-footer on the 18th hole that got him into the playoff. He also sank a 45-footer on the 14th hole that proved to be a momentum changer. PutterZone.com is a big believer in Stan Utley’s “feel-based” approach to putting. Click here to read PutterZone.com’s review of Utley’s book The Art of Putting.

2. TaylorMade’s Spider putter continued its ridiculous run of success in the hands of Paul Goydos yesterday. If not for an untimely shot in the drink, Goydos might be wearing the Players Championship crown today. The Spider has already been used in two PGA tournament victories this year, and Goydos was so close to making it three. Click here to read PutterZone.com’s TaylorMade Spider review.

3. Much has been made in the media about Phil Mickelson’s “new” putter, which really isn’t new at all. His main stick is still an Odyssey White Hot XG #9 putter. He simply had it lengthened from 33.5 to 35 inches. What’s interesting is the reason Mickelson gave for wielding a longer putter. He says that he’s grown between a half and a full inch taller as the result of an intense stretching regimen. Of course, he didn’t grow overnight, and a change of 1.5 inches in putter length is no small transition, so PutterZone.com suspects there’s a bit more to the story.

4. Denis Watson won the Champions Tour’s FedEx Kinko’s Classic with a Rife 2 Bar Mallet (pictured here) in hand, sinking a birdie on the final hole to capture a one-stroke victory. Rife reports that five players wielding Rife putters finished in the top ten at the FedEx Kinko’s Classic, earning more than $710,365.00 and accounting for more than 33 percent of the total prize money.

5. Peter Lawrie won the European PGA Tour’s Spanish Open with a Yes! Marilyn model putter in hand. Yes! putters also enjoyed a 1-2-3 finish at the Japan LPGA Tour’s Crystal Geyser Ladies Open, with Miho Koga winning with the Marilyn model, Maiko Wakabayashi finishing second with a Callie model and Ritsuko Ryu finishing third with a Tracy II model.

6. Ignacio Garrido finished second to Lawrie at the Spanish Open after placing a Heavy Puttter B1-M model into play for the first time. Trailing by one shot on the final hole of regulation, he drained a 30-foot birdie putt to force a playoff. He also notched a course record nine-under-par 63 with just 25 putts during the second round of the tournament—reminiscent of Adrien Mork’s record score of 59 using a Heavy Putter on the European circuit a few years ago.

About Sean Weir

Sean Weir is the founder and editor of PutterZone.com, and the author of Putter Perfection, the definitive guide to putter fitting. Profile: Google+

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