Els hoping for a change in fortune

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Ernie Els will have a new weapon in his arsenal at the Ballantine’s Championship this week – a belly putter.

Ernie Els will have a new weapon in his arsenal at the Ballantine’s Championship this week – a belly putter.

The South African will be employing some different tactics in an effort to turn his game, which is yet to fire in 2011, around.

He had a particularly poor showing at The Heritage last week, shooting rounds of 75 and 78 to fall well outside the cut line.

He admitted that his fellow players were giving him an earful regarding the change.

The guys are giving me a lot of stick about it,” he told europeantour.com. “But you know, these are legal tools. I want to give it a go.

“All the guys come up and said ‘Oh, you’re not going to use that, you’re not going to need that’. So they give me a lot of stick, but it’s fine. I’ll give it a go, and you know, we’ll see. It’s a bit of a new process but I’m working on it.

“For a while now, the normal swing, you’re on plane, or you’re not on plane. My putting, basically, my path became very awkward. I became too squared back and I cut through the ball a bit. You don’t put a good roll on it and from short distances, I was becoming really not good. I started practicing with a belly a little bit, and when you stick it in your belly, you know, it stays on plane.

“And that’s basically what prompted me to use the belly. It feels very awkward to use it in a tournament to be honest, because I’ve always putted with a normal putter.”

Els will be playing in his third Ballantine’s Championship, and will be aiming to improve on his two top-10 finishes with a win this week.

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