Masters champion Adam Scott looks like an athlete with that slim waste and those rock hard biceps that rival Tiger Woods’ at his muscle shirted best. And he’s got that gorgeous golf swing that has long been the envy of his peers, that is better than Rory McIlroy’s much heralded action, and that enabled him to lead the field in GIR with 55, or an super impressive 76.4%.
Given his appearance, swing and physique, his chicken wing stance with the long putter looks all the more ridiculous – and it is far more unsightly than the stances used by Els, Simpson, and Bradley.
But Scott is not about appearances or else he would have never adopted such a silly looking putting technique – nor would he have snagged Stevie Williams for his bag, the same Stevie that helped Woods to 13 of his 14 majors. In short, prior to anchoring and Stevie, Scott was a putting challenged golfer with a weak mental game in the majors – a combo that led to a most mediocre record in the majors that included zero top tens in his 16 starts from 2007-2010 (after a 3t in the PGA, his best finish in the next 16 majors was 12t).
Then he hires Stevie, who has literally written the book on the mental game (Golf at the Top with Steve Williams), goes to the long wand, and voila, he becomes a contender, and now a champion. The difference makers on Sunday came on the 18th green of regulation and the second playoff hole where Scott holed 15-20 foot birdie putts – one that positioned him for a playoff, and the one that won it on the tenth green over Angel Cabrera, the classy Argentinian whose bid for a birdie missed by less than an inch.
With his victory at the Masters, Scott has become the poster boy for the anchored putter crew, supplanting Keegan Bradley, who broke the ice with his win at the 2011 PGA. Why Scott? He has got the looks, the game’s best caddie, the best swing, the best overall record with the long putter, the momentum, and the prospect for winning the most majors with the AP.
The golf world has long wondered if, and when, the super talented Scott would break through and win a major. Now that he has, there is every indication that he will win many more. He’s got 11 more opportunities to establish his legacy as the Best Player with an Anchored Putter, assuming the ban goes in force in 2016 as scheduled. Then he will be able to prove that he can win when he takes of the training wheels and ditches the chicken wing.
When his career is over, Scott may have a half dozen majors – a few with the anchored putter, and a few without. We will never know, however, if he would have won any majors with the short putter if he hadn’t first gotten that surge of confidence that came from winning with the long one.