SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Might the snail re-emerge from its shell once again?
Mark Hubbard indicated that fans just might get to see perhaps the wildest, goofiest, silliest putting stroke in golf sometime this week. But only under the right circumstances.
Hubbard shot an opening-round 63 on Thursday in the Waste Management Phoenix Open and took the co-lead with Matthew NeSmith at TPC Scottsdale, thanks in part to 28 putts made using his traditional grip.
“For whatever reason, I really like this place a lot, and it always kind of seems to kick me into gear right around this time of the year,” said Hubbard, who is from Colorado and played collegiately at San Jose State. It was there that the goofy snail thing got started. The term was coined by one of his college teammates.
Hubbard broke out the snail on the Friday of the American Express. On his way to a 76, he was pretty much playing out the string in the second round when he decided to showcase the move. But then he missed the putt.
“It usually makes for an automatic putt inside five feet,” Hubbard said. “Little disappointed I missed that one.”
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But since that tournament two weeks ago, Hubbard has been working on his putting. Like, working on his real putting stroke.
“I’ve worked on it a little,” he said, while admitting “I haven’t done much of the snail, but we were joking on 16 that if I had hit it to a tap-in’s length that I would have had to have done it.
“But who knows, we might break it out this week.”
“Yeah? The snail could be in play?” he was asked.
“Ideally a tap-in on 16 or a tap-in with like a two-shot lead on 18 for the win, those would be the two situations to break it out,” he said.
Hubbard’s in the final group teeing off on the 10th tee on Friday at 3:20 p.m. ET. The rough math says that should get him to the 16th green a little after 5 p.m. or so. With the sun starting to set in the Arizona desert, perhaps it’ll be the perfect time for the snail to make another appearance.
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/02/05/mark-hubbard-might-break-out-crazy-snail-putting-grip-at-phoenix-open/