For the first time in more than a decade, Tiger Woods will not lean on his trusty Scotty Cameron putter. (Getty Images)
So long, Scotty: Woods changes to Nike putter
For the first time in a tournament since 1999, Tiger Woods will use a putter that does not have Scott Cameron's name on it. Looking to improve his putting on St. Andrews' slower greens this week, the world No. 1 will wield a Nike Method putter at the Open Championship.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.com Chief of Correspondents
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -– This week, for the first time since the 1999 GTE Byron Nelson Championship, Tiger Woods has a new putter in his bag.
The Scotty Cameron that has contributed to 63 PGA TOUR victories and all but one of his 14 major championships has been replaced with a Nike Method putter for this week's 150th Open Championship.
Woods said he made the decision because he struggles on slower greens like the relatively flat putting surfaces at St. Andrews. The greens are large, too, so lag putting will be key and having a comfort zone with the speed is essential.
"It's one of those things where I've always struggled on slower greens," Woods said. "I've always putted well on faster greens. This putter does come off faster with the new groove technology. It rolls the ball better and rolls it faster.
"So these greens, I've had to make very little adjustment in how hard I'm hitting it compared to if I had my older putter. That's something Stevie (Williams) and I have been talking about over the years together, is what can I do on slower greens? I always seem to struggle on them and can't wait to get to the fastest greens that we play on TOUR."
Over the years, Woods has experimented with different putters but never put one into play until this week. He said the Nike putter looks very similar to his Scotty Cameron so the adjustment has been relatively seamless.
Interestingly, Woods has won the last two Open Championships played on the Old Course with his Scotty Cameron. He has struggled with his putter this year, though, and missed 15 putts inside 10 feet two weeks ago at AT&T National.
Woods stands 45th in putting average and 96th in putts per round on TOUR this year. He ranks 141st in putts of 25 feet and over, 180th on putts from 15-25 feet and 116thon putts from 5-15 feet.
"I've always been tempted to change my putter on slower greens, and … I've always struggled when greens are really slow," Woods said. "Even from when I was a junior golfer, I always feel more comfortable when the greens get quick.
"Some of my best putting rounds were when the greens were running at 14 or something like that on the Stimp like at Memorial. I feel so comfortable on those type of greens."