The Tiger Woods Mallet Putter Era has officially begun. How long it lasts remains to be seen, but Woods put a TaylorMade Ardmore 3 into play today during the first round of the Quicken Loans National on Thursday.
Woods began using the putter in public this week, but it was unclear if he might use another putter during competition. Woods was reportedly testing at least three putters on Wednesday. Then on Thursday, with the new mallet in hand, he two-putted from 27 feet for par on the first hole at TPC Potomac.
The 42-year-old has long used a blade putter throughout his career, sticking with a Scotty Cameron design this season (the same putter he won 13 of his 14 majors with), but has struggled on the greens in his last few tournaments. He was ranked in the top 20 on Tour in putting earlier this year, but has faded recently, most abruptly when he finished second-to-last in strokes gained: putting at the Memorial in May. He followed that up by missing the cut at the U.S. Open.
"I'm trying to find something that I can feel again like the swing of the putter, getting my body in the right positions and seeing the lines again," Woods said Wednesday. "You know, it's just one of those things, once I start to get that ball rolling on my lines, then I'll be back to putting like I was. I just have not been rolling it on my lines. And then on top of that, when they don't roll on lines, then I have a hard time seeing my line and it's a vicious cycle and just trying to get out of that cycle."