Sunday, August 16, 2009

IMG_3652 CHASKA, Minn. -- After needing 33 putts to complete his third round, scribes in the media tent at Hazeltine National were taking bets on whether Vijay Singh would emerge from the clubhouse Sunday with his traditional-length putter or switch back to the belly putter he has used at various times this season.Around 10:30 this morning, Singh strolled to the practice green with the same putter he used in the first three rounds of the 2009 PGA Championship, a standard-length Never Compromise Milled Series 1."I'm think I'm just dodging the problem," he told TNT's Jim Huber. "If I can just face it and deal with it, it will make me a better putter, and that's why I'm sticking with the short putter."Singh said that he had a few good ideas that he hoped would fix his putting woes. He didn't elaborate on TV, but he did putt for about 15 minutes this morning while looking at the hole instead of looking at the ball at address.At one point, Singh holed a 50-foot putt across the practice green without having looked at the ball during his swing. It brought a few cheers from the crowd, and Singh looked at his caddie with a smirk as if to say, "Do you believe this?"In 2005, GOLF Magazine, Top 100 Teacher Eric Alpenfels of Pinehurst Golf Advantage, and Dr. Bob Christina, dean emeritus of the School of Health and Human Performance at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, studied the effects of looking at the hole instead of the ball during the stroke. That study found that golfers who practiced with this method and looked at the hole while putting ended up 24% closer on putts from 28-43 feet than golfers who looked at the ball. (You can read the whole article here.)Boldly, Singh put the unorthodox putting style into play on Sunday. A gutsy move considering it was the fourth round of a major championship. But after missing numerous short putts on Saturday and falling from contention, what did he have to lose?(Photo by David Dusek)

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