• PGA Tour

McIlroy 'in the middle' on belly-putter debate

ESPN staff
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Rory McIlroy believes the ban could tear the sport apart © Getty Images
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World No. 1 Rory McIlroy does not want the sport to be divided by the controversial anchoring putting saga.

The Northern Irishman has backed the decision made by the USGA and R&A to ban anchored putters by 2016, but feels everyone has to be united on the topic, otherwise it could tear golf apart.

"I am somewhere in the middle," McIlroy said ahead of the Honda Classic. "I just feel this whole thing has got a little out of hand.

"I just feel like people should agree on it and move on and say 'okay, maybe we don't like it but the USGA and R&A make the rules so we have got to abide them'. Either that or the R&A and USGA go back and say look 'we'll think about this again'.

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem however stated last Sunday the tour disagreed with the planned rule, while former world No. 1 Tiger Woods has opposed the position of the PGA Tour and continues to support the ruling.

McIlroy fears the issue could be a damaging one and does not want to see fans turned off the sport.

"It just seems everyone is so split on it," he said. "I'm all for making the game of golf easier and attractive to the public and if that means anchoring should stay in the game then it should."

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