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Woods backs putter ban despite PGA Tour opposition

ESPN staff
February 27, 2013 « Ferguson expects difficult decisions during run-in | Chartbeat test »
Tiger Woods is vehemently against anchored putting strokes © Getty Images
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Tiger Woods has effectively underlined his opposition to the PGA Tour on the subject of anchored putting strokes, after insisting the method should be outlawed.

On Sunday, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem took the unusual step of calling a press conference to state the tour's disagreement with a planned rule change by the USGA and R&A, golf's two rules bodies, which will ban anchored putting strokes.

The use of long putters, which enable players to 'pivot' - or anchor - the putter against a part of their body, has come to the fore in recent times, after players including Ernie Els and Keegan Bradley claimed major championships using the method on the greens.

Woods, who has never used a long putter in competition, has always maintained the club should be outlawed - and reiterated that stance, despite the PGA Tour's announcement, when asked about it on Wednesday.

"My position hasn't changed. I still think it should be swung, it shouldn't be anchored and that hasn't changed at all," Woods told reporters ahead of the Honda Classic.

"Obviously nothing is set in stone, nothing is firm. The USGA and the R&A are the governing bodies of our rules and we will see what happens.

"Hopefully we don't have to bifurcate [have separate rules for professionals and amateurs] or adapt a local rule like we do sometimes out here on tour with stones and bunkers and things like that. Hopefully we won't have to do that with the putter."

Woods is aware that the PGA Tour is standing up for the interests of some of its members - not just Bradley, but the likes of US Open champion Webb Simpson too - but insists the proposed ban is in keeping with the game's traditions.

"I understand his [Finchem's] position but I still feel that all 14 clubs should be swung," Woods said. "That hasn't changed nor will it ever."

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