Tiger Woods' ball-striking continues to be exceptional in his return to the tour, his second-shot performance propelling his weekly bids for contention. In that same breath, his putting, or lack thereof, is almost single-handedly keeping those efforts from turning into Ws.
On the year Woods ranks 50th in strokes gained/putting, a figure that doesn't seem to indicate the flat stick serving as an Achilles' heel. Unfortunately for Woods, that standing, save for a strong showing at Bellerive, is mostly buoyed by early-season submissions. At the Northern Trust, Woods finished last in the field in strokes gained/putting, and though he saw a little improvement following a switch to a new putter at TPC Boston, 33 putts in his final round sunk any hopes of his first victory since 2013.
So perhaps it's not a surprise that, in his first practice round at Aronimink for the BMW Championship, Woods returned an old friend to the bag: his Scotty Cameron by Titleist Newport 2.
The same putter, you may remember, that was by Woods' side for 13 of his 14 major championships. Starting in 2004, which is the first year the tour has strokes gained/putting calculated, he ranked first, fifth, 21st, second and second with the Cameron, skipping 2008 and 2010 when he did not play enough to be ranked. Woods changed to a Nike putter at the 2010 Open Championship and went back and forth between Nike and his Cameron for a bit before settling in with a Nike model in 2011.
Woods returned the Cameron to play once Nike left the equipment business, but switched it out for a TaylorMade mallet this summer.
This will be Woods' first appearance at the BMW since 2013. Woods' AT&T National was played at Aronimink in 2010 and 2011, with Woods finishing 46th in 2010. He begins the week ranked 25th in the FedEx Cup, needing a solid outing to earn a trip to the season-finale at East Lake.