Golfers vow to fight putter ban
Dongguan - American star Keegan Bradley on Thursday warned of a players' revolt if golf officials go ahead with rumoured moves to outlaw long putters.
The Major-winner and Ryder Cup player stopped short of threatening legal action, but said he would do "whatever it takes" to prevent a ruling which could put his career at risk.
Bradley's comments follow intense speculation that authorities are considering banning "anchored" putters which reach the stomach or chest, over concerns that they give an unfair advantage.
"I'm going to do whatever it takes to protect myself and the guys on tour, whatever that is," Bradley, 26, said at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, adding he had spoken to other players who feel the same way.
"I think we all would be together on this. We're all in the same boat. A lot of us feel strongly about the hours of practice we've put in that they're saying is basically for nothing now."
Bradley, the world No 14, became the first player to win a Major with an anchored putter at last year's PGA Championship.
He said he had not heard anything concrete about banning the "broomstick" and "belly" putters, but was concerned thousands of hours of practice would be wasted.
"I just think they'd be taking away hours and hours of my practice and guys other than me that have used it. And I think that would be a shame," he said.
"The USGA (United States Golf Association) and the R&A's (Royal and Ancient Golf Club) goal is to attract players to the game and I think this would be pushing players away."
Australia's Adam Scott, who used a broomstick putter in his seven-under-par 65 to share the first-round lead, questioned whether authorities would be able to ban long putters - and why they would even want to.
"I be surprised if they could completely outlaw anchoring putting. But you know, you'd have to deal with that if it were to be brought in," said the world number six.
"For me personally, I don't feel it's as big a deal maybe as for some others. I've played at a high level with both styles of putting."
Scott added: "I don't think it's clear-cut that it's better on long putts or better on short putts than the short putter when you balance them off. It's not - it's just putting.
"It's the same thing. You have to read the green and you have to hit it at the right speed. But all of putting is still a learned skill no matter what way you do it, with a short one or a long one."