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Scott Talks Again about Possible Long-Putter Ban
Adam Scott is back in his home country this week for the Australian Masters. The 72-hole event, part of the PGA Tour of Australasia, begins Thursday at Kingston Heath Golf Club in Melbourne.
The 32-year-old from Adelaide has never won the tournament, but will give a good effort to try and prevent England's Ian Poulter from successfully defending his title. In addition to playing well, Scott's thoughts this week are also on the possible ban of long putters, a club he uses to great effect.
Scott has joined the chorus of players who dispute the potential ban, which has been under discussion by golf's powers-that-be - the United States Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. In recent weeks, Scott, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Keegan Bradley, Tim Clark, Bill Haas, Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson have come out in opposition to the prohibition of the clubs, which opponents believe provides an inherent advantage and more control as it's anchored to the body.
Several of these players have threatened lawsuits if such a ban is added to the Rules of Golf.
The two governing bodies are expected to meet and perhaps come to a decision prior to the start of the 2013 season on the various world tours, although it's more likely a formal vote won't take place until March. The decision might also take into account the current rules cycle, which runs through December 2015.
During Wednesday's pro-am at the Australian Masters, Scott underscored some of his earlier comments on the ban, while noting that modern-day golf has bigger problems than professional players using "broomsticks" on putting greens.
"I don't think putting is the biggest problem in the game of golf at the moment," he told reporters. "The holes haven't been made smaller or greens changed because of people putting with longer putters. Yet tees are moved a long way back and courses made obsolete.
"It's commonly acknowledged that length is more of an issue than anything else. Great courses are being made obsolete and the time it takes to play, these are some of the things that the powers-to-be should be looking to rectifying - not the way guys are putting. Because there's no actual evidence that putting with an anchored putter is better (or) easier. If it is, I would assume everyone would be doing it.
"If you're talking about traditionalists not liking people with a longer putter or a different method, it's not even an argument because we're so far from the traditions of the game. I could say it's sad to see the 1-iron is not in the game anymore. So, should there be a ban of all hybrid clubs?"
Scott, who noted he has just as much success with a regulation (short) putter and could easily transition back to it if a ban is imposed, said a proscription of the long putter would unduly hurt players who've never used anything else. "It depends on how they write the rule," he said.
"It's all speculation and for me it's not such a big issue as it is for some of the guys who putt with belly putters, like Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley, who have never putted with anything else as a professional."
He's also baffled at the timing of such a rule change. "I just don't understand why they're going to do that (ban) now. The facts don't show there's a reason for it."
Scott will be paired in the opening round of the Australian Masters with 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell and amateur Oliver Goss and is hoping to get back on the winning track this week. "I've always kind of prided myself on the fact that I've won a couple of tournaments every year and I'm a consistent winner," said Scott, whose last victory came in the 2011 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
"It's a habit. You've got to get in it, and this is why I'm working hard still late in the year on my game, to get a win or hopefully two."
For live updates on the Australian Masters, visit http://www.australianmasters.com.au/index.cfm?fuseaction=Main.
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