When the U.S. PGA Tour banned the anchored putting stroke beginning in 2016, it was initially thought that Adam Scott would suffer, but he immediately demonstrated otherwise by winning twice in quick succession.
If Scott has tailed off of late, it would have to be said that he has gained the perspective that there are other things in life besides golf and that he is no longer willing to devote the single-minded energy staying on top requires.
Scott recently acquitted himself quite well in The Players, a tournament some consider the “Fifth Major.” He finished tied 11th at 11 under par.
The tournament was won by American Webb Simpson, who was himself one of those players affected by the anchored stroke ban.
Both Scott and Simpson use long putters, which were never prohibited. The regulation introduced in 2016 simply meant that players could no longer wedge the shaft of long putters against their bodies.
Scott initially went to the more conventional length putter initially, but he is back with the broomstick and again seems interested in showing that at 37 years of age, he is not ready to fade away.
Scott won The Players Championship in 2004.
Jason Day was relevant for a short time during the final round, shooting four under on the front nine, but he could not buy a birdie for love nor money on the back half and carded nine consecutive pars to finish at 13 under par, tied fifth.
Simpson basically lapped the field on the first three days and went into the final round with a seven shot lead. In the process, he tied Greg Norman for the lowest 54-hole score in the history of The Players, but he fell five shots shy of Norman’s 24 under par record.
Simpson stepped onto the 18th tee leading by six shots, so even though he butchered the final hole, hitting his approach into the water and winding up with a double bogey six, about all he had to do for the win was to keep breathing.
For Scott and Simpson, the ban of the anchored putting stroke turned out to be much ado about nothing.
For perspective, Scott finished better than Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth.