Tiger Woods impressed with a two-under par at the US PGA Championship on Thursday – after ditching his £70million putter for a new make.
The American golfer had won 14 out of his 15 majors with the Scotty Cameron Newport 2, but has brought in a new and longer Scotty Cameron model which is better for his back.
Woods has had four back operations during his career, the latest being a spinal-fusion surgery in 2017.
Speaking about his new putter, Woods said: ‘I’ve been messing round with this putter for the better part of a year. It’s a little longer than my original one which makes it easier on my back. I can spend more time practising.
‘It’s one of the reasons why Senior Tour players never putt with the same length putter – it’s a little bit hard to bend over.
‘I putt with my sand wedge all the time and this feels more like my sand wedge.’
Woods’ had a close relationship with his old putter that brought him great success and even refused to let his son Charlie use it.
The 2019 Masters champion was even offered a seven-figure sum for the Scotty Cameron Newport 2 by a Japanese investor, but Woods turned it down.
PGA Tour star Marc Leishman said: ‘I bet you could offer him £70m for it and he probably wouldn’t take it.’
Yet the change to a new putter seems to be doing the trick as Woods shot an opening 68 at San Francisco’s TPC Harding Park.
The 44-year-old lies three shots behind leaders Jason Day and Brendon Todd, who are one shot ahead of England’s Justin Rose and two-time winner Brooks Koepka.
Woods’ playing partners, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, hit par and one-over-par respectively.