Els phasing out belly putter

British Open champion will use it at Masters

Ernie Els of South Africa is phasing out the use of his belly putter. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

Ernie Els of South Africa is phasing out the use of his belly putter. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

Mon, Apr 1, 2013, 20:12

British Open champion Ernie Els will use the belly putter for the last time at a Major during the US Masters next week as he phases out the controversial club ahead of a proposed ban, the South African said.

Els used the short stick for his first three rounds at the Chiangmai Golf Classic in Thailand before taking 29 putts with his belly putter in a closing two-under-par 70 to finish tied 14th in the Asian Tour event.

“I just wanted to play (with the belly putter) since it was my last competitive round before the Masters,” said the four-time Major winner who will switch to the shorter stick in time for the US Open in June.

“Mentally, I was going to do the long putter at the Masters. I wanted to feel what it is like under a little bit of pressure,” he said .

World number 24 Els has been looking for consistency this year, having missed the cut in the Arnold Palmer Invitational with successive rounds of 75s before heading for Thailand.