Ernie Els/ The Open Champion 2012/ Getty Images
The dust had hardly settled over the Royal Lytham & St Annes course, scene of The Open 2012 and Ernie Els anchoring assisted win on Monday when Peter Dawson of the R&A issued a statement about how soon they would be addressing the problem;
“This decision has not been taken, but I think we are going to say something in a few months rather than years. Anchoring is what we’re looking at, method of stroke, and it’s all about putting around a fixed pivot point, whether that fixed pivot point is in your belly or under your chin or on your chest, I don’t distinguish.”
Mr Dawson said that data shows 14-15 percent of the field regularly use a longer putter, and at the Open Championship, that number increased to 27.5 percent. Any future ruling would not invalidate the wins of The Open champion Ernie Els, PGA champion Keegan Bradley and U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, officially or unofficially.
“It doesn’t detract in any way from the winner as long as he obeys the rules of play at the time. Bobby Jones used concave-faced clubs for some of his major championships and they were outlawed later.”
USGA executive director Mike Davis remains focused on a decision that is best for the entire sport;
“Together with the R&A, we remain deliberate in our review, and are keen on getting any decision right for the long-term, for the game and for all golfers, rather than rush to judgment.”
Strange fact, is what Ernie Els said after Trevor Immelman had won the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open Tournament Players Championship of Europe, using a belly putter;
“It’s become such an easy way to putt. Nerves and skill in putting is part of the game. Take a tablet if you can’t handle it.”
After switching to the belly putter, his demeanor had changed to if you can’t beat them, join them;
“As long as it’s legal, I’ll keep cheating like the rest of them.”
I guess The Big Easy found out the hard way, there is no tablet to help you win at golf.
What do you think, is anchoring “cheating? “