Keegan Bradley enjoys role of anchor putting “poster child”

Mike Ehrmann

Keegan Bradley has become the face of the anchored putting ban brouhaha and the 2011 PGA champ is totally cool with that.

"I’m fine with it if they want to make me the poster child of the belly putter," Bradley, the first player to win a major with a long putter, said on Golf Channel’s "Morning Drive" Monday, a day after finishing T24 at the WM Phoenix Open. "I can handle that."

Bradley, who intimated last year that he might fight a ban on the stroke most golfers use with their long putters, has steadily toned down his rhetoric. He also believes, however, that the regulators are a long way from enacting the prohibition they proposed back in November.

"I’ve always felt that as a young player on tour, I like to keep my head down a little bit....The veterans, they know a lot more than I do," Bradley said. "It’s still very much up in the air. They’ve still got to vote on this, they've still got to hear comments from people, and there are very strong opinions on both sides."

Bradley said he took "a little pride" in the perception that his major win with an Odyssey White Hot XG Sabertooth in his hands changed the game, but reminded viewers that he was hardly the only golfer -- professional or amateur -- employing a long putter.

"I think it would be a terrible mistake to take that club away from someone who’s enjoying the game," said Bradley, who preceded fellow belly putter acolytes Webb Simpson and Ernie Els to the major championship winner’s circle.

Bradley also noted that there was a chance that the PGA Tour would overrule the governing bodies’ mandate and continue to let him and his peers anchor their putters. Whatever happens, Bradley promised an "interesting" next few weeks and months.

"It’s out of my hands. I can't do much about it," he said. "I would love to continue to use the putter that I’ve put thousands of hours in on the putting green and won tournaments with, but as players we’ll adapt. But I still don’t think it's right to ban something that's been around for 100 years. I hope [the powers-that-be] make the right decision, which I think they will."

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