At the Heritage,
two weeks after
20 players put
long putters in
their bags. Are
you the Johnny
I don’t know if I’m
a trailblazer, but
it received a fair
bit of attention in
the weeks before
and after the
I putted well.
How did you
get over the
stigma of the
long putter —
the idea that
it’s only for old
guys, or that
it’s not fair?
The stigma is a
bit unfair because
some of the best
putters on Tour do
use long putters,
and not necessarily
old guys. Look at
Tim Clark and
to name just two.
They’ve been using
the long putter for
a long time and
they’re not old at
all. I got over [the
quick once I saw
putts going in on
the putting green.
So you didn’t
you were swallowing your pride when you
made the switch?
Not at all. It’s not doing anything wrong
until they ban them.
How do you travel with it? Are
you afraid it’s going to break?
[Laughs] It doesn’t fit in the travel cover,
that’s for sure. You need to get one of
those big sticks that’s even longer than
the long putter to make sure that the
stick breaks before the putter does.
Your coach, Brad Malone,
encouraged you to make
the switch. How is working
with Brad different from
working with your old
coach, Butch Harmon?
Brad lives very close to me in Australia,
so our access to each other is easier than
it was with Butch being based in Las
Vegas. Brad and I have figured out how
to monitor every part of my game all
year a little more consistently than I had
done with Butch. I think that’s just me
getting older and more experienced
and knowing what I need a bit more.
Did you hear from Butch
after the Masters?
He sent me a message that Monday.
He just said, “Great job, thought you
had it, looking good.” Butch and I
have a great relationship.
What’s the best part about
being a professional golfer?
Travel has always been a big perk for me.
I’ve done a lot of it and I still enjoy it. I’ve
been so lucky. When times are tough on
the golf course, you have to sit back and
realize all the great things that it’s given
you. I’ve seen the world, and not many
of my friends have done that.
What’s not so great?
When anything’s going good, it’s good.
But when you’re not playing well over
a stretch of time, it’s tough. You find
everything a little more difficult. Golf
gets more difficult. Life gets more
difficult. The travel becomes more
stressful, and all the things you think
are easy when you’re playing well and in a good frame
of mind just
become a little
tougher. The road
can get lonely at
times, and you
have to have a
good crew of
you to keep
your mind in
At the end of
the day, golf’s
a pretty mental
game at this level.
in 2009. What
did you learn
A lot of people
heart and fire
over the years,
but I could have easily thrown in the
towel. I fought hard and worked hard
to get back. I’m on my way to being a
better player than I’ve ever been.
I want to be the best Australian player
ever, so I’ve got a lot of work to do.
You didn’t play in the Presidents
Cup the last time it was held in
Australia, in 1998. What’s the
atmosphere going to be like in
Melbourne this November?
We Australians are big sports fans,
and Melbourne is the sporting capital
of Australia, so the fans and spectators
are definitely going to be fired up. To
have 24 of the best golfers in the world
come down there will get them fired
up. We haven’t won a Presidents Cup
since 1998, and we really, really want to win one. That’s going to really help
get the Australian fans and spectators
to push the boys along.