Sandy Lyle’s ‘Black Swan’ Putter Not The Ugly Duckling At The Masters.

Sandy Lyle celebrated the first day of the 25th anniversary of his Masters triumph sporting the ugly duckling of putters to finish the leading Scot on the first day of the 77th Masters.

The face of Lyle’s ‘Black Swan’ putter is about as long as a sleeve of golf balls and would look more at home on a croquet court than the hallowed fairways of Augusta National.

However Lyle used the putter to post an opening round one over par 73 as the Scot looks to end a run of three missed cuts on the occasion also of his 32nd Masters.

“It is strange putter and it wouldn’t win a beauty contest, I know that,” said Lyle.

The Black Swan putter would not be lost on a croquet court.

The Black Swan putter would not be lost on a croquet court.

“But I used it at the PGA Seniors last year and I had a very, very good putting week; and on greens very similar to this as far as undulations and speed as well.

“It’s called a ‘Black Swan’ and it’s made of aircraft alloy and it looks big and cumbersome, but it’s not.

“It’s got a very good MOI, which is the moment of inertia and all this sort of high tech stuff and it rolls the ball very good.

“And I have a board back at home inside the house which has got velvet on it, and you can putt over four or five feet and you can see what the ball’s doing.

“So I thought, as it’s been sitting in the closet for quite a while, and I kind of thought, well, I’ve been putting terrible this year, so far on the Seniors Tour, and I’m just kind of averaging 34, 33, 35, very, very seldom below 30 putts.  So I said, well, I’ll just bring it out and see.

“I then went out here on Sunday with a guest and I went around with six birdies and 26 putts.  So I thought, hmm, that’s going to be in the bag again.

“And I putted quite well today.  I have been, I felt very comfortable with the putter, and it does the job pretty good.”

Lyle posted two birdies in his round, at the par five eighth hole where he holed an eight-footer and the par five 15th when he sank a six-footer.

However the 55-year old also dropped shots at the first, fourth and 17th holes in a round that was 13 shots better than last year’s opening 86.

“The three-putt at 17 was rather annoying after I whacked it past 10 or 12 feet,” he remarked.

“It was a lack of concentration, or whatever you want to call it, but all in all I think that the shaky start, the drive at the first, got out of position only by a couple of yards and then it comes out a bit off course.  And then the chip shot ran off the green down the side there.

“So it was looking like a double bogey again on the first, but got away with a bogey, but generally the driving was, could have been better.  My irons were very poor.  So I need to go and see if I can iron out some kinks.”

Lyle had been up at 5.30am in readiness to be the first player to tee off in the 77th Masters at 8am and 10 minutes after the ceremonial threesome of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.

The Balquidder ended his round four hours and 20 minutes after teeing up and just as 14-year old China sensation, Tianlang Guan was teeing up in the company of double Masters winning Ben Crenshaw and Italian teenage stallion, Matteo Manassero.

“It will be interesting to see how the youngster does,” said Lyle.

“I’ll watch with interest.”

And when Lyle was asked if he could remember what he was doing at 14 years of age, he responded:  “Well, I was playing quite a lot of golf back at 14.  A 3 handicap, 2 handicap.”

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