Webb Simpson -- "King of the belly"
2011 was definitely the year of the belly, accounting for 17% (seven of 41) of the wins on tour. Webb Simpson won twice, Keegan Bradley won twice (including the first major ever by a belly or long putter), Martin Laird, Brendan Steel and Bill Haas all won once. In fact, 24% of all wins were won by non-conventional putting styles (seven belly putters, two cross-handed, and one long putter).
But the question remains: is the belly putter the wave of the future? Well, for the players that won using a belly putter this year, they certainly do not rank highly in the putting stats. Here is where they ranked in the new statistical category of strokes gained, which most experts consider the most accurate indicator of the best putters on tour:
Webb Simpson - 58th
Martin Laird - 76th
Bill Haas - 85th
Keegan Bradley - 98th
Brendan Steele - 121stWalter Iooss Jr.