McIlroy wants putting saga sorted

World No.1 Rory McIlroy wants uniformity over the use of putters in the game.

Story highlights

  • World No.1 Rory McIlroy wants uniformity over putter ban proposal
  • The PGA Tour opposes the proposed ban of anchored putting in golf
  • The USGA and R & A plan to outlaw the technique by 2016
  • PGA Tour says there is no evidence that using the "belly putter" offers an advantage

Rory McIlroy has urged the world of golf to come together and unite over the controversial rule changes on putting.

The World No.1 fears that the game could be torn apart with the PGA Tour joining the PGA of America in opposing the proposed ban of advanced anchored putters from 2016.

Golf's governing bodies, the Royal & Ancient (R & A) and the United States Golf Association (USGA), announced the plan last year with the 90-day consultation period set to expire on Thursday.

The R & A is the rule-making authority throughout the world of golf, excluding the U.S. and Mexico where the USGA runs the sport.

"Anchored" putting method to be banned from 2016

PGA Tour commissioner Tom Finchem has already stated that the organization did not see "a competitive advantage to be gained by using anchoring."

But McIlroy, who has previously spoken in favor of the ban, says a decision needs to be taken across the whole of the sport from the PGA Tour to the European Tour.

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"I saw what Tim Finchem had to say and it seems like the European Tour is going to go a different way," McIlroy told a press conference ahead of the Honda Open.

"I read a thing Monty (Colin Montgomerie) said that this divide isn't good for golf and I don't think it is. We either need to all be on one side or the other.

"It's up to the governing bodies at the end of the day to decide. I sort of think it was a bit of a knee jerk reaction to how much success people were having with it (players using long putters have won three of the last five majors).

"I'm all for people enjoying the game and trying to make the game as easy as possible and bringing people to the game, and if that means they should allow anchored putters to make it easier for the general public then that's a good thing.

"But then they talk about bifurcation, whether you should have one set of rules for us and one set for the amateurs and it's just a bit of a mess and opened a can of worms."

PGA Tour against 'belly putter' ban

The PGA Tour runs the American circuit and plays a leading role in staging World Golf Championship events.

It has traditionally adopted the rules of the R&A and USGA, which runs the Open Championship and U.S. Open, while the PGA of America organizes the US PGA Championship and American Ryder Cup team.

With the European Tour already having announced its intention to abide with the R&A agenda, McIlroy feels the rest of the world should fall in line.

He added: "We have put the game of golf in the hands of the R&A and USGA for I don't know how many years and have always abided by the rules that they've set and I don't think there should be any difference.

"If it were up to me, whatever decision the USGA comes to, maybe the pressure the PGA Tour has put on them, they might change their minds and rethink about it, and if they do that it's totally fine with me."