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October 31, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Keegan Bradley would consider legal action to block belly putter ban

Bradley_longputter_webIf Keegan Bradley is forced to give up his long putter, he plans to go down swinging it.

Bradley told Golfweek's Alex Miceli, who is reporting from China, that he'd consider taking golf's governing bodies to court to defend the anchored putting stroke:

“I'm going to do whatever I have to do to protect myself and the other players on Tour,” Bradley said. “I look at it as a whole, as us all together. I don't look at it as much about myself. I think that for them to ban this after we've done what we've done is unbelievable.”

Bradley, the first player to win a major with a long putter, has spoken out most aggressively, but other pros are upset that they have been largely bypassed in the decision-making process, and some expect player resistance as the process moves along.

Among those players is Ernie Els, who, after a period of opposition to the belly putter, seems to be softening his stance since he began using one. Funny what a major title will do:

“They’re going to have a couple of legal matters coming their way,” Els said here, indicating the USGA and R&A. “It's going to be a bit of an issue now. I’ve been against it, but since I’ve been using it, it still takes a lot of practice, and you have to perfect your own way of putting with this belly.”

Despite player resistance, the USGA and R&A appear to be moving toward a rule change, which some expect by the end of the year.

(Photo caption: Bradley lines up a putt during the final round of the Bridgestone Invitational in August. He won the event. AP Photo)

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