Choi Raises Woods in Battle of Putting Changes
By Merf under British Open

Remember when K.J. Choi almost won this year’s Masters? He held the lead on the back nine before sliding into a tie for fourth overall with Tiger Woods. Choi tied for fifth in putting that week (1.58 putts/green), at a tournament known for having the toughest greens in golf.

Well, as you can see, he’s gotten a little desperate since then.

Yes, he’s putting croquet style, an unexpected move considering he’s still 40th in putting average, and seventh in scoring average on the PGA Tour this season. So why is he doing this?

“People say I putted well with the old putter,” he said. “For me, there’s always room for improvement.”


So Choi tried out the new putting style last week at the John Deere Classic, missing his first cut all year. But he’s gonna stick with it.

“When I started out, I was not 100 percent comfortable with it. But I believe in the theory and I believe in the principle behind it. I’ve worked hard and I’ve practiced hard. I’m convinced this is the right way to go. I’m not looking back.”

Choi is also using a new 2-pound prototype long putter — which weighs about twice as much as a normal club. (Woods also switched to a heavier different putter to compensate for this week’s slower greens.)

In theory, it will reduce the chance of taking an uneven swing. Plus, only the lower hand is used to guide the club — again, supposedly improving the probability of taking a level stroke.

“With a one-arm lever, you only have half as much chance to go wrong,” said Juan Elizondo, who designed the triangle-shaped putter for Choi.

This is what he used to look like putting:

[AP Photo/Peter Morrison]