Scott might use new putter in Sydney

Adam Scott is contemplating playing with a new putter in his bag Thursday for the first round of the Australian Open at The Lakes.

Scott played a practice round Tuesday at the eastern Sydney course without the long broomstick-style putter that he anchors to his chest. The Royal & Ancient Golf Club and the US Golf Association have proposed a rule — to come into effect in 2016 — banning players from anchoring putters against their body during the stroke.

Playing alongside Tom Watson, who before teeing off on Tuesday endorsed the proposed ban of long putters, Scott instead used an oversized traditional blade.

Although it was marginally longer than a regular short stick, Scott’s putter was not anchored to any part of his body.

There was a clear gap of about two to three inches (six to eight centimeters) between Scott’s torso and the putter handle.

On Wednesday, Scott said he was undecided on which putter he’ll use on Thursday.

”I don’t know, I’ll see. I’ll probably putt with the long putter,” Scott said. ”The other one I was messing around with was my first go.”

The 32-year-old clinched the Australian Masters last month using a broomstick putter that he has used for much of the past two years. But he has secured 16 of his 19 professional wins with a traditional putter.

Watson said he believes golf officials are correct to ban long putters.

”And I say that with mixed emotions,” Watson said. ”This (a broomstick stroke) is not a stroke of golf.”

Scott will play with England’s Justin Rose in the featured group on Thursday morning, joined by China’s Liang Wenchong.

Watson has been paired with defending champion Greg Chalmers and Australian Jake Higginbottom, who won the New Zealand Open two weeks ago as an amateur and turned pro the following week.

Guan Tianlang, the 14-year-old from China who will play in the US Masters at Augusta next year after winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship last month, will play with Australians Robert Allenby and Marc Leishman in the first two rounds.