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Tiger Woods reiterates opposition to belly putters in golf

November 27, 2012|By Jim Peltz
  • "I just believe that the art of putting is swinging the club and controlling nerves," Tiger Woods says.
"I just believe that the art of putting is swinging the club and controlling… (Hong Wu / Getty Images )

Tiger Woods on Tuesday reiterated his opposition to the use of so-called belly putters in golf, a day before two of the game's governing boards were expected to announce a possible ban of the putting practice.

The use of belly putters, also called "anchoring," mainly involves using a long putter whose grip rests against the stomach.

The practice has gained growing attention because three of golf's last five major tournaments were won by players using belly putters: Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship, Webb Simpson at the 2012 U.S. Open and Ernie Els at this year's British Open.

"I just believe that the art of putting is swinging the club and controlling nerves," Woods said at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, where the World Challenge tournament that benefits Woods' charities is being played this weekend.

Having one end of the putter at a fixed point, Woods said, "is something that's not in the traditions of the game. We swing all other 13 clubs, I think the putter should be the same."

The U.S. Golf Assn. and its overseas counterpart, the R&A, have scheduled a joint news conference Wednesday morning that's expected to address the issue. Any ban is expected to be implemented after two or three years, so that players using belly putters can adapt to shorter putters.

Simpson and Bradley also are playing in the World Challenge's 18-player field, and they said Tuesday that even though they're not happy about a possible ban of belly putters, they don't plan to contest it.

"They are doing what they think is best for the game, and I respect that," Bradley said. "I really have to wait and see what's going to happen tomorrow with this announcement."

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