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Big Play
JOHN ELLIOTT
March 19, 2007
WHO: Heath Slocum
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March 19, 2007

Big Play

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WHO: Heath Slocum

WHAT: Missed four-foot par putt

WHERE: 445-yard 18th hole at Innisbrook Resort & Golf Club

WHEN: Final round of the PODS Championship

WHY

Watching Tour pros like Slocum and his childhood buddy Boo Weekley miss short putts with titles on the line seems surprising because Tiger Woods has set such a high standard--he rarely misses. But if you could get inside the minds and bodies of most Tour pros trying to win on Sunday, you'd be shocked. Their minds are fried, and their hearts are pounding. The winner is usually the guy who gags the least.

JOHN'S TIP

Aim for the Center On the Short Ones

If you have any doubt about the break on a short putt, aim for the center of the hole and hit the ball firmly. The cup's diameter is 4 1/4 inches, so aiming at the center makes the target look bigger and gives you a two-inch margin for error on either side. If you aim for an edge, you have a larger margin for error on one side but none on the other, a riskier play.

John Elliott teaches at St. Andrews Golf & Country Club in West Chicago, Ill.

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