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    Why Justin Thomas goes again to his middle-school putter

    Justin Thomas is popping to a trusty outdated Scotty Cameron blade putter at this week’s Sentry Event of Champions.

    Getty Pictures, Dylan Dethier

    KAPALUA, Hawaii — Justin Thomas is throwing it again at this week’s Sentry Event of Champions.

    Like, manner again.

    Thomas is starting the 2023 calendar 12 months with an outdated Scotty Cameron putter he first put into play in center college however hasn’t utilized in competitors since faculty.

    His new (outdated) weapon on the greens is a Scotty Cameron Newport Circle T with “JT” stamped on the again. And after consulting with our precise gear guru Jonathan Wall I can inform you the “SSS” and “303” stamped on the again are literally descriptive; the 303 refers to the kind of chrome steel whereas SSS stands for “Surgical Stainless Metal.”

    Justin Thomas is making a enjoyable putter change this week, going again to a Scotty Cameron blade he first gamed in center college (!) and hasn’t utilized in competitors since faculty.

    “I like placing with it, so why combat it?”


    — Dylan Dethier (@dylan_dethier) January 4, 2023

    Thomas had been placing with a Scotty Cameron Phantom T5 Prototype, a dual-winged mallet head. Thomas switched into the Phantom T5 simply earlier than successful final 12 months’s PGA Championship, though the form of the top was just like the Scotty Cameron X5 mallet he had used to win 13 instances on Tour.

    However on Wednesday at Kapalua he was rolling putts within the pro-am with the old-school blade and confirmed he’s planning to place it in play for the match, too, marking a return to simplicity and familiarity. Thomas’ first Tour victory — on the 2015 CIMB Traditional — got here with a blade putter. Now he’ll attempt to add one other.

    “I journey with this putter a bunch. I’ve introduced it to tournaments with no intention of actually utilizing it, nevertheless it’s good for follow,” Thomas defined. He’s hoping it’s good for competitors, too.

    Thomas has labored onerous to enhance his placing with John Graham, a short-game guru who has been a trusted advisor since Thomas missed the minimize on the 2020 Vacationers.

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    “Since I’ve been working with John, my mechanics are like, night-and-day totally different,” Thomas stated on Wednesday. “I’ve simply had the tendency of actually flaring it open on the takeaway after which dragging [the putter head] behind on the way in which by. I might do it repetitively, however when it was unhealthy it was unhealthy.”

    Thomas is a streaky putter who has seen cold and hot stretches earlier than; he truly gained strokes placing final 12 months and ranked eighty fifth on Tour, his greatest quantity because the 2017-18 season. He credit his work with Graham on that enchancment.

    “It’s wild how totally different it’s,” he stated of his stroke. However he completed 2022 on a chilly streak; DataGolf measured him shedding strokes on the greens in 5 of his closing seven begins (not together with the Hero World Problem, which has no information), a stretch that included only one high 10 on the Tour Championship.

    Thomas enters as one of many betting favorites, going off at +1100 behind simply Jon Rahm (+650), Scottie Scheffler (+900) and Patrick Cantlay (+1000). He has a terrific report at Kapalua, with two wins and 5 top-fives in seven begins.

    Thomas, who reached World No. 1 in 2018 and once more in 2020, begins the 12 months at No. 8.

    New 12 months, new putter. Nicely, outdated putter.

    “I like placing with it,” he stated with a shrug. “So why combat it?”

    Dylan Dethier

    Dylan Dethier Editor

    Dylan Dethier is a senior author for GOLF Journal/ The Williamstown, Mass. native joined GOLF in 2017 after two years scuffling on the mini-tours. Dethier is a graduate of Williams School, the place he majored in English, and he’s the creator of 18 in America, which particulars the 12 months he spent as an 18-year-old dwelling from his automobile and enjoying a spherical of golf in each state.

    #Justin #Thomas #middleschool #putter