England’s Ian Poulter hopes a new putter will bring a change of luck on the greens as it did for him five years ago.
The 37-year-old opted for something similar at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and finished runner-up, four shots behind Padraig Harrington, who successfully defended his title.
Poulter has been trialling numerous putters in the past week – a process he has not had to undergo very often in his professional career. But he has finally settled on one which he believes will give him a good chance of success at Muirfield in the 142nd Open Championship. “Very infrequently. I think I’ve had two different putters in the bag in the last four years, maybe more,” he said when asked how often he had changed tools for the putting surface. “In 2008 I wasn’t happy with my putter and I stood on the putting green and burned two big footprint marks in the green at Birkdale trying to get comfortable because for one reason or another putts weren’t going in. It may be that is a visual thing of something you have got used to and you just want to look down at something fresh, then that is what it is.
“I’ve done exactly the same [this week]. I’ve tried quite a few putters. I got lots sent from everyone. I’ve found something which I like the look of, which seems to be rolling quite nice and hopefully we can go one place better than in 2008.”
Poulter had a decent start to the year with two top-ten finishes but has not finished better than 17th since February. However, he denies by changing his putter he is trying to give himself a much-needed lift. “I’m not looking to kickstart anything, I’m looking to win this tournament,” he added.
In addition to tackling the thorny issue of his putter, Poulter has also been turning his hand to some impromptu DIY at his temporary accommodation in Scotland this week. While 14-time major winner Tiger Woods relishes a very early start – he was turfed off the course yesterday because he had begun practising ahead of the scheduled 7am opening time – his Ryder Cup opponent has other ideas.
Poulter has devised a way to ensure he gets more of a lie-in, posting a picture on Twitter of his bedroom window covered in black bin bags, having been bothered by the early morning sunlight. “I have blackout curtains at home and when you rent houses you are not quite sure what you are going to have,” he said. “I woke up at 5am yesterday morning to piercing sunlight through the curtains so some black bin bags came to the rescue and it is great. I can Sellotape bin bags around the window, I don’t just hit golf balls.”