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Monty: I'm glad anchor putters are banned

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File photo dated 28/08/2008 of Scotland's Colin Montgomerie.

File photo dated 28/08/2008 of Scotland's Colin Montgomerie.

PA

File photo dated 28/08/2008 of Scotland's Colin Montgomerie.

COLIN Montgomerie today welcomed the decision to ban anchored strokes from 2016, despite using one himself to produce one of his career highlights.

The R&A and USGA today confirmed that the ban will come into effect from January 1, 2016, with Rule 14-1b approved after consideration of comments and suggestions made during the 90-day consultation process.

"I'm glad common sense has prevailed and anchor putters will be no more - it will be banned and rightly so. I wish it had come earlier to be honest," Montgomerie said.

"In 2004 I holed an important putt with an anchor putter (which secured Ryder Cup victory at Oakland Hills) and I must admit it was easier. I am in favour of the ban having used both methods.

The threat of legal action from players using anchored strokes has been mooted, including by former USPGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley, but Montgomerie added on Sky Sports News: "Let's hope not. He's entitled to do whatever he wants to do but let's hope not.

"Let's hope he abides by the rules. For one guy to start suing - no, we don't want that to happen."

Sergio Garcia also backed the ban despite having used a belly putter in an attempt to cure his putting problems.

"I used it for a little bit but never felt that comfortable," the Spaniard said.

"It's going to be a bit of a bother for some guys but I think they will figure out a way. I stand behind the decision of the R&A and USGA."

Nine-time major winner Gary Player also welcomed the decision, adding on Sky Sports News: "I've got to congratulate the R&A and PGA for making this decision.

"I think three years is a long time (for it to be implemented) and one year would have been the right decision, but we're not going to argue about that.

"As a young man coming up I spent hours and hours training my mind, training myself to have good nerves under pressure. Now the long putter doesn't necessarily hole a lot more putts than a normal putter, but it takes away the nerves.

"Anybody who ever thinks of suing the PGA or suing the R&A or suing the USGA, should not be part of our association. You never sue yourself.

"We are the R&A, we are the USGA, we are the PGA. You don't sue people who are trying to do things and make golf the better for all of us."

Not everyone agreed with the decision however, with former Open champion John Daly writing on Twitter: "NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL....all professional organizations create their rules, PGA should also create rules as professionals in our organisation."

Bob Philion, the president of Cobra Puma Golf, also expressed his disappointment from the point of view of amateur players.

"Golf lost today," he said.

"This is not the direction we should be going; it will only continue to alienate people from golf. Cobra Puma Golf has been stressing the importance of game enjoyment since we formed in 2010; game enjoyment is how we are going to bring people back to golf.

"This decision is a giant leap back on that front."

PA Media