independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Harrington turns to anchor putter despite backing 'belly ban'

Ten months after wishing anchored putters would swiftly be banned, Padraig Harrington used one for the first time in competition in the opening round of the Wells Fargo Championship.

And despite shooting an eight-over-par 80 – his long game was more to blame – the three-time Major winner said he would consider sticking with a belly putter until the proposed ban comes into effect in 2016.

"The R&A and USGA support the rules of golf and (anchoring) is well within the rules," said Harrington.

"I think (anchoring) is bad for the game of golf. But if something's going to help me for the next three and a half years I'm going to use it.

"It's the same as the box (square) grooves. It's hurt me deeply having the box grooves banned. But it was for the good of the game. It will be the same with the putter. Once it's banned, six months later everybody will move on.

"For the majority, I believe anchoring shouldn't be there. It doesn't look good. And there is no doubt there are individuals that it's going to be tough on (Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Ernie Els and Adam Scott have won four of the past six Majors using anchored putters).

"But it cost me a couple of shots a day, not having the box grooves because that's my style of game. So it's not like it hasn't happened before. But for the game, I think that I don't agree with anchoring at all."

horror round puts harrington's putter on trial p58

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