Johannesburg - Time is running out for South African golfer Tim Clark.
has used the anchored long-putter since college golf, and with the ban
on the putting method coming into effect on January 1, 2016, he has 17
months left before he is forced to change the way he earns a living.
was born with a birth defect which does not allow him to rotate his
forearms normally, and makes putting with a short-putter incredibly
For now, and most recently on Sunday, Clark said he
had pushed the looming ban right out of his mind as he claimed the
second PGA Tour victory of his career in the Canadian Open in Montreal.
think that's probably been on my mind for the last couple years,
knowing that the change is coming, and every time I'm home I'm tinkering
with stuff, seeing what I'm going to do," said Clark after finishing on
a 17 under total courtesy a final-round 65.
"I think that's taken away from my play.
"The last month or so I've stopped doing that.
kind of put it to the back [of my mind] now, and I'm going to just do
with what I've got now, and maybe give it more thought sometime next
Clark, by his own admission, had been poor on the greens
this year, but was able to beat American Jim Furyk by one shot, and the
key to his victory was needing just 10 putts on the back nine.
golfer from Umkomaas in KwaZulu-Natal had a torrid year before the win,
after battling most of last year with an elbow injury.
In the Majors, Clark missed the cut in the Masters, and did not even qualify for the US Open or The Open Championship.
the win, Clark rose 78 spots in the world rankings to 75th and also
booked his spot in the final Major of the year -- the PGA Championship
at the Valhalla Golf Club, Louisville, Kentucky in America, starting on
Clark last won on the PGA Tour in 2010 when he claimed
The Players Championship at the TPC at Sawgrass, and said his latest
success was just as sweet.
"Any win is very special, particularly since that win a lot has happened.
"I've had surgery since then. I've had two kids, which is on the good side of it. My life has changed a lot since that win.
have won right now after the year that I've had means a lot. I've not
had the greatest of years starting from January. I played good in the
fall last year, but this year as a calendar year has not been the best
"To turn it around like I have and now to get myself into Akron next week and the PGA means a lot."
first-ever professional victory came in Canada at the New Brunswick
Open in 1998 on the Canadian Tour, and the 38-year-old said his career
had come full circle.
"Well, the irony of it, it could be the
place of my first win and my last win. That's pretty interesting. To
come back here, that's 16 years ago when I was just cutting my teeth as a
professional golfer and was fortunate enough to be given some starts up
here, as I got ready for Q-school and whatnot. So I have fond
It had also been a long road back to winning after four months out with the elbow surgery, Clark said.
"Once I had the surgery, I felt like I would be able to recover.
"But the first few months back at tournament golf were tough. I mean, I don't think I broke 75 for a few months.
know, it's just - you've got to keep persevering. Yeah, I always felt
like I'd get back. I'd done it before my first year on Tour I missed
with a wrist surgery. You never give up hope, and I'd like to say it was
a lot of hard work, but I do what I need to do."