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October 18, 2012

Tiger Woods favors 'across the board' ban on belly putters

Posted at 10:32 AM by Mark Dee | Categories: Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods

Tiger-belly_300The golf you play may bear little resemblance to that played by Tiger Woods, but he'd like to remind you that it is, in fact, the same game.

That's why Woods advocated for an "across the board" ban on anchored putters -- rather than a pro-only ban -- during a press conference Wednesday.

"I believe it should be the game across the board," said Woods, who has already been on record as being against belly putters. "I think it should be a global rules change."

Woods didn't only talk anchoring at the press conference, which was held to announce a new sponsor and this year's field for Woods's tournament, the World Challenge.

Eighteen players, including Woods and very nearly the entire U.S. Ryder Cup team, will take to Sherwood Country Club at the end of November. We say very nearly the entire team because of one notable exception: Phil Mickelson won't be in the field. When asked why, Tiger was terse: "It was his decision," Woods said on Mickelson's decision not to play.

The press conference also came hours after reports that Woods (along with Rory McIlroy) would play in the Abu Dhabi Championship in the middle of January. But does playing so far afield mean he'll miss some of the PGA Tour's bigger early season events, among them his return to Torrey Pines? Tiger wasn't willing to say, quite yet:

Right now I'm really focused on playing in Malaysia and playing in the World Challenge. After that I'm going to sit down over my off‑season and before the new year for sure and plan out everything and see how many events I'm going to play in and whether this year was a good amount, I can play more, I can play less, travel more, travel less, and really get a good balance and really analyze what I need to do or what I want to do.

Moral of the story: Wait and see. After the World Challenge, Tiger will have played 24 tournaments this year, his most since 2005. Who knows if he'll keep up a similar pace next season? Apparently, not even Tiger.

RELATED: Tiger Woods career in photos | Tiger Woods SI covers | Tiger Woods homepage

(Photo: Warren Little/Getty Images)

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