BETHESDA, Md. — Because he averages more than 308 yards per tee shot, Robert Garrigus draws a lot of attention when he hits his driver. But this week at the U.S. Open, fans, Internet equipment junkies and tour pros alike have done a double-take while watching Garrigus, who tied for third, pull his 28-and-a-half-inch putter from his bag.
In a press conference at Kapalua in January, before the start of the winners-only Hyundai Tournament of Champions (Garrigus won the 2010 Children's Miracle Network Classic), the Phoenix resident recalled the time Tiger Woods asked him about his putter in Charlotte.
"He was making fun of me on the putting green," Garrigus said. "He was like, 'You putt with that?' I was like, 'Yeah, I'm sponsored by U.S. Kids Golf [a children's club maker], you didn't know that? It's all about the kids. I'll give you one for Sam.'"
Following through with the joke, Garrigus left a tiny putter in Woods's locker that week.
Garrigus started using the short stick when he was 19 after seeing a custom fitter. Garrigus was using a 34-inch putter at the time but was struggling with short putts.
"[The fitter] gave me this little tiny thing and he's like, 'Here. Get your hands down, shoulders down, and eyes over the ball, and tell me what feels good.' It was 28 inches when I did that," Garrigus said.
"As soon as I got to Q-School, I wasn't missing those short 3- and 4-footers anymore," he said. "I was rolling them all in. And I went through the first stage, then the second and got to third when I was like 20 years old. And I just felt like that was a fit for me."
Although he has used several different putters over the years, the model he is using at the 2011 U.S. Open is a Scotty Cameron for Titleist Studio Design Squareback 2. (Photo by Jeff Haynes/Reuters Photos) See-Try-Buy: Learn more about Titleist/Scotty Cameron clubs, and schedule your fitting with GolfTEC or Golfsmith. More US Open coverage: Leaderboard | Photos | Video | Download Front9 app Related: Follow David Dusek on Twitter | Facebook