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Jay Busbee

Well, that didn't last long: Tiger Woods ditches Nike putter

Jay Busbee
Devil Ball Golf

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Love 'em and leave 'em. After three unsatisfying days, Tiger Woods has ditched the Nike Method 001 putter he switched to before the Open Championship, returning to the old familiar Scotty Cameron putter he's used to win 13 of his 14 championships.

Switching putters mid-tournament? For a guy as disciplined and routine-oriented as Tiger, this is the equivalent of wearing a white surrender flag rather than his characteristic Sunday red. Through the first three rounds, Woods took 99 putts, including 35 on a rugged Saturday. Leader Louis Oosthuizen, by contrast, took only 88 putts over that same period. Not coincidentally, Woods entered Sunday 12 shots behind Oosthuizen. Woods three-putted an astonishing ten times over the first 54 holes of the tournament.

Woods switched to the Nike Method putter with the hope of dealing with St. Andrews' slower greens more effectively, but as he and others found, greens at the Old Course went from slow to slick, depending on both wind speed and which hole you happened to be playing at any given moment.

Early on in Sunday's round, the switch didn't seem to help much; Woods posted two early double-bogeys, though those were the result of poor shot selection long before he got to the green.

Nike's hopes for a run on golf stores in search of Nike Methods are now surely dashed. On the plus side, the putter is one quickie Tiger fling who probably won't be holding a press conference to reveal dark secrets.

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