Keegan Bradley said he'd challenge a ban on anchoring.
DONGGUAN, China – In this hamlet on the southern China coast, Keegan Bradley and Carl Pettersson drew a line in the sand with implications that could be felt all the way to Far Hills, N.J., and St. Andrews, Scotland.
Bradley and Pettersson said they intend to fight a proposed ban by the U.S. Golf Association and R&A, the game's rulesmakers, on the "anchoring" stroke associated with long putters. They said their opposition would include legal action, if necessary, to protect the game from those who, ironically, have that very responsibility.
In characterizing the likely ban on anchoring as drastic, Bradley said he needed to speak out or be steamrolled by the USGA and R&A.
“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 said on the eve of the HSBC Champions here. "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 perception of the anchoring stroke used with the belly and long putters is that it's a panacea for players struggling on the greens. However, players who have spent hours trying to perfect their craft offer a different view.
Pettersson, 35, who has used a long putter for 16 years, most of that time on the PGA Tour, where he has won five times, got his start with the long putter as an amateur.
“It's a different way of putting,” Pettersson said. “You have to work on it. It's a different technique, and I think pace was a big difference; the thing I don't like is when people say it's a lot easier to putt with a long putter, because it really might not be. You've got to put the time and effort in and develop a stroke. It ...
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