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Adam Scott defends long putters after Tiger Woods calls for rule change

6th November 2012

• Australian says there are more pressing issues in the game
• Woods has voiced long-standing opposition to long putters

Adam Scott has criticised a putter rule change suggestion by Tiger Woods and told golf’s governing bodies to focus on more pressing issues.

Once seen as a desperate attempt by struggling golfers to change their fortunes on the greens, long putters – like the broom handle or belly putter that Scott uses – have seen a dramatic rise in popularity in professional golf.

Webb Simpson used one to win the US Open this year to follow compatriot Keegan Bradley’s success in becoming the first major winner to employ a long putter at last year’s US PGA Championship.

The South African Ernie Els made it a trio of long putter major champions at this year’s Open, with the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Royal and Ancient (R&A), the game’s two governing bodies, since discussing the status of anchored putters, with a ban being considered.

Scott, the world No6, speaking before this week’s $6 million Singapore Open, said he had spoken to the European Tour chief executive, George O’Grady, about the issue last week, adding that a ban on the long putter he has used since 2011 would be unfair.

“It is very hard to find a good reason to do that [ban it] at this stage so my conversation was to find out where things sit because it is very hard to get information,” Scott said.

“My opinion would be I don’t think it is in the best interests of the game to ban the long putter I think there are some more important issues that probably should have time spent on them than putting.”

Woods has voiced long-standing opposition against the use of the long putters, which tend to measure between 38 and 46 inches. The American believes putter length should be capped and be equal or less than the shortest club in the golfer’s bag. Scott, though, is not a fan of that idea.

“His voice carries some weight on the issue, a lot of players have been quite outspoken about it and certainly when Tiger Woods speaks about it generates a lot of interest,” the 32-year-old said.

“But I’m not necessarily sure his views on what the putter should be are correct at all, I don’t think the putter should be the shortest club in the bag, that has never been a rule in golf so I don’t know why it should be now.”

Bradley said at last week’s HSBC Champions event in China that he would be prepared to take legal action should the putter he has used for 16 years be banned.

Scott added: “We certainly don’t need that sort of carry-on going on in the game of golf. I think it is all unwarranted, all of it, and there are more important things to worry about.

“I think that it is fairly well acknowledged that length generally is probably the biggest issue in the game and it doesn’t just mean how far pros hit it.

“Some of our courses, great courses are too short these days. If we are talking about equipment side of things the length issue is probably the most important because tees are moved back. Greens are not changed because people are putting with a long putter.”


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