It went viral on you tube as what was called “the worst putt of all time”. In the first round of last Autumn’s Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews he slipped a short putt so badly to the right it was as though he couldn’t see properly. People said he had the yips. But I remember Bernhard Langer’s woes with the putter all those years ago, it wasnt that extreme, oh he was pitiful. But Langer overcame them and went on to become a truly great player. No, it wasnt the yips but the anchored putter ban hit Els’ confidence on the greens hard. He looked lost without his long wand that he had relied on for many years.
So it was like a miracle to watch him play during the recent Desert Swing. He finally took the advice to change his grip with the short putter to left hand below right and the short putts began to drop with consistency. His play in Qatar was particularly good, and in Dubai he was within one shot of the lead at one point. Els was buzzing that his confidence with the short putts was finally back. Last year, after missing so many cuts he was considering leaving the game, but now he looks remarkably restored to his old self. Long may it continue.