Scott says he won't fight anchoring ban

Adam Scott putts during the 2013 Memorial at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio

Adam Scott putts during the 2013 Memorial at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio

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Golf’s “Gang of Nine” might not be so united against the recently approved ban on the anchoring stroke.

After the U.S. Golf Association and R&A endorsed Rule 14-1b last month, three prominent touring pros who use the anchoring stroke with long or belly putters – Tim Clark, Carl Pettersson and Adam Scott – were disclosed to have retained Boston’s Harry Manion as legal counsel.

During last week’s Memorial Tournament, Scott, the recent Masters champion, made it clear that he had sought legal advice merely to gather information and be sure that his views are expressed to the PGA Tour.

“There’s no intention of filing suit or making problems,” Scott said, “but this is a business, and I’m treating it professionally and I have professional counsel to do that.”

Keegan Bradley, who has not been publicly linked to the potential litigants, appears resigned to the ban.

“I’m so sick of this issue,” said Bradley, who won the 2011 PGA with a belly putter and continues to use the anchored stroke. “I’m ready to do whatever they tell me. I’m fine with the short putter.”

Tour commissioner Tim Finchem met with the Player Advisory Council for 90 minutes here May 28. The next day, PAC member Davis Love III said the Tour’s position appears to be set.

Asked whether anchoring would not be allowed on Tour when the next Rules of Golf go into effect in 2016, Love said, “I would assume so . . . unless we want to be another rulemaking body.”

Fred Couples, who uses a belly putter, said he has spoken with Manion, a founding partner of Cooley Manion Jones, but wants no part in any legal challenge that might arise against the anchoring ban. Couples, a 2013 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee, intends to cut his belly putter a tad shorter and float it in front of his body, which would be permissible under the new rule. For years, Couples, 53, has had problems with his back, and he says the belly putter keeps him from bending too much.

“I don’t think my stroke will be horrible,” Couples said. “I’ll still miss 4-footers.”

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