Tour Report: Anderson bellies up, is in contention


By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Not everyone was sold on the belly putter.

Mark Anderson, who opened the year using one, shelved it midseason for a conventional one. That decision didn’t last long, though, with Anderson putting it back in his bag last week.

It turned out to be a timely move. Anderson shot 67 Friday at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, where he’s one of a number of players hovering near the lead at 9 under halfway through the season-ending tournament.

”I went back to the short putter because it felt really great and I made a lot of putts with it,” Anderson said. “The last month or two I’ve hit the ball very well, but I just haven’t made the putts. So it was kind of a last minute do or die deal.”

At 170th on the money list coming into the week, Anderson needed a big week to have any hope of securing his card for next year.

The last time Anderson, who hasn’t always used a belly putter, put one in his bag was at the end of last year’s Tour season. He finished second at the Miccosukee Championship, then tied for seventh a week later at the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open Presented by Planters.

“I know I can putt well with it,” he said.

Friday, he missed just two putts inside 10 feet, and he made a couple beyond that range, too, on his way to 27 total putts after hitting 14 greens in regulation.

Said Anderson: ”I know I can putt well with the short putter, but in the meantime while I can still putt with it, I’m going to use it.”