KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. — Blake Adams knows how to play in major championships.
Now he just needs to work on his image.
After completing a 5-under-par 67 on Sunday in the final round of the PGA Championship, Adams made the walk over the makeshift bridge from the 18th green to the clubhouse area. A fan shouted out “Oostie,” a reference to playing partner Louis Oosthuizen, and Adams shot back a quizzical look.
Then he kissed his wife, Beth, and signed for one of the day’s lowest rounds.
Adams. who lives on the outskirts of Swainsboro, Ga., stands 6-3 and weighs 205. Oosthuizen, a South African, is 5-10 and 170.
Adams finished tied for seventh at 3-under for the tournament. One shot better and he would have been headed for next year’s Masters Tournament since Augusta National invites the top four and ties from the PGA.
Adams made his major championship debut at the U.S. Open at Olympic and challenged before slipping to a tie for 21st.
“I finished 12th at the Players, I had a chance at the (U.S.) Open, and halfway decent here,” Adams said. “I’m getting really, really close. A harder golf course and setup always seem to suit me. I’m just happy to be here.”
Adams credited a change in putters as the key to Sunday’s low score.
“I’ve had a really, really good putter for a year and a half,” Adams said. “On my flight home from the U.S. Open, it got bent in the air travel and has not really been the same since and it was just the last straw, I guess this morning when I was putting with it, just didn’t make anything. Actually played a lot better than my 3 over really showed.
“To have really nothing to lose on the afternoon round, made a few putts coming in, and it was certainly nice to see,” Adams said.
The switch to the TaylorMade Spider putter paid off with five birdies and no bogeys. He made two long ones at Nos. 16 and 17, then capped his round with a nice putt to save par on the final hole. The switch was prompted by poor putting Sunday morning when Adams came back to finish his third round.
“I went to the putting green and I had just hit a few putts on Monday and Tuesday with it, so I put it in play and it worked out,” Adams said. “You would think (the old putter) would shape up. I’d given it about five weeks. It’s not the putter, it’s the puttee. But the Spider worked really well today.”
Adams can still qualify for the Masters with a victory or top 30 finish in the FedEx Cup race. He admitted that he doesn’t pay much attention to the rankings.
“The only world ranking I care about is top 50 because it will get me down Magnolia Lane,” he said.