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Friday, November 28, 2014

Keegan Bradley, Carl Pettersson plan to fight ban on anchoring stroke

Keegan Bradley and Carl Pettersson are among the professional golfers who use long or belly putters, and both say they plan to fight the US Golf Association’s proposed ban on the anchoring stroke used with those putters.

Both golfers spoke out from the WGC-HSBC Championship in China this week.

“I’ve kind of kept my mouth shut on this for a while, but I think it’s time that people hear our side of it,” Bradley (pictured) said on Wednesday. “The last thing I want to do is speak out and attract a bunch of attention, but I just think they’ve got to do what’s right for the players, as well. There’s a chunk of us that have been doing this and put hours and hours of work in, and it would be a shame to take that away from us.”

The issue came to the forefront after Bradley won the PGA Championship last year using a long putter. Webb Simpson and Ernie Els also won majors since then using belly putters.

A decision is expected to come by the end of the year, according to Golfweek. A ban of the long putters because of the anchoring stroke likely wouldn’t be implemented until 2016 because the rules of golf are only changed every four years.

Pettersson has been using a long putter for 16 years and believes he would be at a huge disadvantage if the rules changed.

“If they ban it, I feel like I’m 16 years behind practicing with a short putter and it would just be a shame,” he said. “I think it’s a pure reaction to a couple guys winning majors — it was going to happen sooner or later.”

Bradley and Pettersson say they would consider legal action to fight a ban, and they say more golfers could join their fight.

Tiger Woods was one of the golfers who spoke out against long putters. In February, he said he thought the putter should be equal to or shorter than the smallest club in a golfer’s bag. It seems like the golf organizations are going to consider the possibility of eliminating the anchoring stroke, but if they’re met with legal opposition, it will probably be difficult to enforce.



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