In the end it didn’t really matter if Adam Scott used a belly putter, a normal putter, or quite frankly a log when it came time to make the winning shot at the Honda Classic.
About 30 inches was all that was required for Scott to knock in the winning putt that gave him a 1-stroke win over Sergio Garcia to take the title in Florida, his first win since the 2014 Colonial.
It’s also his first win since the belly putter was outlawed, but he hasn’t exactly had a problem with the ruling. In three tournaments since the rule changed, Scott has finished in the top 10 three times, something that only happened twice in all of 2015.
“Good for me because maybe we don’t have to go over [the belly putter] too much anymore,” Scott said. “Again, it just reassures me I’m on the right track with the things I’m doing on the greens, and I’m just going to try and get better every week.”
The last time Scott won without the belly putter was 2010. In the five years that he used it, he won four times, including the 2013 Masters, which springboarded him to No. 1 in the world, a position he held for 11 weeks in 2014.
Scott trailed Garcia by five strokes after the first day as Garcia fired a tournament-best 65, but his Friday-Saturday combo of a 65 and 66 got him even through 54 holes. He went up two strokes on Garcia with birdies on No. 1 and No. 5 on Sunday, but bogeys on No. 9 and 10 saw him slide back to even.
He took the lead for good as Garcia bogeyed No. 11 and Scott birdied 12. Justin Thomas and Blayne Barber finished tied for third at 5-under. Thomas was the only player in the field to shoot less than 70 in all four rounds, notching a trio of 69s and a 68 on Saturday.
Graeme McDowell took fifth at 4-under, and Rickie Fowler and Vijay Singh, who turned 53 on February 22, tied for sixth at 3-under.
World No. 3 Rory McIlroy missed the cut.