LOS ANGELES – In a roundabout way, Ernie Els was asked Wednesday if he’s to blame for the proposed new rule to ban anchored strokes.
Els won the British Open with a belly putter last summer after Webb Simpson won with one at the U.S. Open a month before. The U.S. Golf Association and the Royal & Ancient have insisted that wasn’t a factor.
“I truly believe, because of those last two majors, going with Webb and going with myself, I think that had a huge influence in their decision,” Els said.
The USGA and R&A are expected to enact the new rule after the 90-day comment period on the proposal ends in two weeks.
Els still has his belly putter in play. He will be using it this week at the Northern Trust Open. He acknowledges his reversal of position on anchored putting. He was against it until he started using one.
Els wishes the USGA and R&A had offered some statistical evidence as to why anchored putting should be against the rules.
“There’s no data that really confirms that they have to ban it,” Els said. “Give me something to go by to really make me believe that you have to ban it; then ban it. But I can't see them having a really great way of explaining to me why they would want to ban it.”