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THE MASTERS | NOTES

McCarron Has a Handle on Putting

April 10, 1999|MIKE PENNER

Scott McCarron will be in the last group for today's televised-by-CBS third round of the Masters, so a nation will soon be clamoring to know:

What's the deal with the putter?

McCarron is only 33, but he's already an advocate of the Old Man's Putter, also known as "the long putter," a contraption that looks like the product of an unholy union between a normal golf putter and a javelin. Popular among senior golfers, it makes the quiet art of putting for a share of the Masters lead look more like raking the leaves in the front yard.

Still, McCarron defends the putter.

After watching some seniors use the club with great success at the Raley's Gold Rush in 1991, McCarron says he fashioned his own long-handled putter with a Ping Anser and "putted with it for about eight months. I used it in the U.S. Mid-Amateur."

He uses a proper long-handled model today and maintains, "If it was so easy, like a lot of guys say it is, everybody would be doing it. But it's not, it's difficult."

*

It's not every day that one of the world's greatest golfers scratches out a triple-bogey eight at the Masters. But once Tiger Woods showed it could be done Thursday, David Duval took up the challenge and put together his own eight on the 15th hole Friday.

Duval's eight was somewhat less interesting than that of Woods, who twice hit trees on No. 8 on Thursday and turned a couple of stray pine cones on the ground into mortal enemies.

Duval's eight started innocuously enough--first he teed off, then he laid up on the fairway. Then came the disastrous approach shot, which spun back into the water, earning Duval a one-stroke penalty.

After that, it was a sand wedge over the flag to the back of the green, with the ball rolling to the other side; a chip back onto the green; two putts to bring it in at eight.

"I made a couple of bad shots at the wrong time," said Duval, whose Friday round of 74 left him one over par at 145. "It really hurts.

"I certainly wish I hadn't done what I did, but there's nothing much I can do right now. I hope I don't fall too far behind.

"I'm not in shock, but that's what's so great about this place. It makes you look foolish at times. That's the big challenge--not to do that. I've had one of those this week. Hopefully, I wont have any more."

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