The Local Knowlege

News & Tours

Putting leaders have common bond early in 2014

By E. Michael Johnson

The calendar just recently turned to January, but the PGA Tour's new wraparound schedule affords the chance to take a reasonable look at trends among the tour's early statistical leaders.

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Greg Chalmers lines up a putt during the first round of the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club. Photo: Stan Badz/Getty Images

Of particular note: strokes gained/putting -- a measure of how well tour pros putt compared with the field. Interestingly, the category's top five golfers after the Hyundai Tournament of Champions all play an older putter or a prototype not offered at retail. 

* Greg Chalmers (+1.572): The lefty still uses the Bobby Grace MacGregor V-Foil mallet that won with at the 2011 Australian PGA and Australian Open. 

* Webb Simpson (+1.538): The looming ban on anchoring hasn't kept the 2012 U.S. Open champion from wielding his Ping G5i Craz-E belly putter. 

* Jimmy Walker (+1.528): Scotty Cameron's prototype Titleist Tour Rat putters are a favorite of many tour pros, including the Tour Rat 2 Walker uses. 

* Brian Gay (+1.370): Bob Bettinardi made Gay a Bettinardi BB8 Tour prototype in 2010 he's used ever since. 

* Aaron Baddeley (+1.138): Badds' Yes! C-Groove prototype has lead tape on the sole of the club to boost the headweight for a feel the Aussie prefers.