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April 26, 2011

Truth & Rumors: Tiger not the only great player with putting woes

The Belfast Herald's Karl McGinty notices that Tiger Woods is not the only PGA Tour mainstay to fall into a rut due to his putting stroke. His entire peer group (briefly known as the Big 5) is having the same problem.

None more so than Ernie Els, 41, who was so deep in the horrors last week at Hilton Head, he tried out an option in practice which a few years back he’d loudly derided as unacceptable — the belly putter.

Singh, 48, continues to wrestle with his putting demons and the weird grip he currently employs might have been recommended by an exorcist.

While Retief Goosen, 43, seems to have halted the decline of his putting powers, the South African is a shadow of the man acknowledged as the world’s hottest performer on fast surfaces following US Open victories at Southern Hills and Shinnecock.

In common with Woods, Els, Singh and Goosen, Phil Mickelson’s feeling pain where it hurts most. Mickelson misses too many short range putts. He ranks a lowly 155th on the US PGA Tour when it comes to holing-out from inside five feet. Els is 183rd in that category, Singh is 141st and Goosen 98th.

Tiger’s putting has gone to pot at the tender age of 35. His Tour statistics are as startling as that three-putt bogey at 12 as he stalled badly on the back nine on the Sunday at The Masters. Woods currently takes an average 1.794 putts per hole, leaving him a lowly 121st on Tour, while his 29.38 per round leave him in 124th.

Ben Crane helps Katrina charity in New Orleans
Ben Crane does more with his free time than make ridiculous YouTube dance videos. Doug Tatum of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports on how Crane has partnered with his sponsor Zurich to raise money for families still trying to return to their old homes since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Crane, Zurich and the St. Bernard Project came up with the Driving It Home campaign in which Zurich donates $100 for every fairway Crane hits from the Farmers Insurance Open in late January through this week’s Zurich Classic. Farmers is a subsidiary of Zurich, and Crane won their event in 2010. He carries the St. Bernard Project logo on his golf bag.

“I just saw the whole vision, saw how well it’s working, how efficient it is, how lean it is and then you talk to people who get back in their houses and … they just had a need and here comes the St. Bernard Project that says we care about you, we value you and we want to help,” said Crane, 35. “That’s a pretty pure act of love. And it’s inspiring. So it’s something we wanted to be a part of, and we get really excited about.”

Tweet of the Day:

From 2006 U.S. Open champ and Metallica fan Geoff Ogivly:

Geoffogilvy_tweet

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