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BELLY UP: Justin Rose, whose 35-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole was one the most decisive shots in the Ryder Cup, once tried a belly putter.
"I used it one round this year, believe it or not, little known," Rose said at the HSBC Champions.
It was the final round of The Players Championship. Rose said he went to a golf score and bought a long putter, just to see how it would work.
"I toyed around with it, and it's always felt great from 20 feet and on putting greens and on fairly flat surfaces," he said. "And I thought, `I'm going to put it in play.' First putt of the day, I have an 80-foot putt from the front edge of the green, lipped out. I thought, `This could be the future right here.'"
Just not his future.
Rose said he thinks the long putters help some players, and it helps under pressure.
"I don't think there's as much nerves involved," he said. "But it's still very hard to make putts. putting is an art form. You have to read the green. You have to start it. It's not all about making a perfect stroke. You have to match up line and speed, and that can happen many different ways. So that's what I learned."
FATHER AND OFFSPRING: If the strength of field is determined by major champions, nothing beats the Father-Son Challenge.
The popular tournament returns this year after a three-year absence, and it again features some of the biggest names in golf. Arnold Palmer is bringing another grandson, Will Wears. Bernhard Langer, who once played with son Stefan, will tee it up with his daughter, Christina. Jack Nicklaus will partner son, Gary, who once had a PGA Tour card.
The 18-team field also features Nick Faldo, Curtis Strange, Davis Love III, Hale Irwin and defending champion Larry Nelson. The fathers have combined for 492 professional wins on the PGA and European tours, including 67 majors. The only one-time major champions are Love, Steve Elkington and Lanny Wadkins.
The Father-Son Challenge, revived with a new sponsor in PNC Bank, will be Dec. 13-16 at The Ritz-Carlton Club in Orlando, Fla.
DIVOTS: Geoff Ogilvy has parted ways with Alistair "Squirrel" Matheson, his caddie for the last 13 years. Ogilvy told Golfweek the split was similar to a marriage that had run its course. "It's not because any job wasn't getting done properly. It's just it was kind of time," he said. He used Matthew "Bussy" Tritton of Melbourne at the HSBC Champions. Tritton most recently worked for Cameron Tringale. ... More charity figures continue to roll in from PGA Tour events. The John Deere Classic raised a record $6.79 million, up $1.5 million from last year. The Houston Open raised nearly $2.3 million, an increase of more than $200,000 from the previous year. ... Ian Poulter had gone 46 official stroke-play tournaments without winning until his two-shot victory in the HSBC Champions. ... England has as many WGC titles as the United States -- four -- since 2010. ... Ian Poulter and Hunter Mahan are the only players to have multiple World Golf Championships without ever having won a major.
STAT OF THE WEEK: Mike Weir has missed the cut in all 13 of his PGA Tour events this year. He is a combined 109-over par in 23 rounds and has yet to break 70.
FINAL WORD: "Beth Daniel ... told me that she would love for me to win that award so they can stop talking about her." -- Stacy Lewis, whose win in the Mizuno Classic put her on the verge of winning LPGA Tour player of the year. Daniel in 1994 was the last American to win the award.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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