So Rory McIlroy believes that long putters provide his PGA Tour playing partners with competitive advantages? How else to interpret the curly one’s tweet on Wednesday in support of the USGA and R&A’s proposed plan to outlaw the way Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Ernie Els, et al, swing (or don’t swing, according to Tiger Woods and golf’s governing bodies) their belly putters?
Fully agree with the anchoring ban. Better image for the game of golf, skill and nerves are all part of the game. Level playing field in '16— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) November 28, 2012
To recap, McIlroy in 2012:
- Won his second major
- Captured five tournaments worldwide
- Beat Bradley in his Ryder Cup singles match despite almost missing his tee time
- Earned more money playing golf than any other player on the PGA and European Tours
- Secured his position as No. 1 in the world for the foreseeable future
And the young Ulsterman boosts golf’s overlords’ plan to yank the big bats from the bellies of his opponents? To the contrary, were the nerve-less 23-year-old with the skills to surpass Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships seriously interested in a more even match-up, he might want to give a few strokes to those he regularly beats up on out there on tour.
For the record, the powers-that-be claimed that their plan to eliminate the practice of anchoring had nothing to do with golfers who used long putters winning three of the past five majors.
“In actual fact, I think we have to make it very clear that this proposed rule change is not directly performance‑related,” R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said during a teleconference Wednesday morning. “It would be extremely difficult to gain any meaningful performance data, because there is no control experiment as to how a particular player might have putted had he been using a conventional stroke as opposed to an anchored one on a particular day. In terms of comparing players that are using anchored strokes with players who are using conventional strokes, there is no compelling data to say one is better than the other. It's an individual thing for individual players.
“But I emphasize,” Dawson repeated, “the reason for proceeding with this rules change is not performance related.”
Rory Mac may beg to differ.