Keegan Bradley couldn’t escape questions about the belly putter, even at a junior clinic.
Speaking to about 100 juniors at a clinic for the Franklin Templeton Shootout, which begins Friday in Naples, Fla., Bradley was asked by youngsters what his thoughts were on the proposed rule that will ban the anchored stroke in 2016.
“Oh boy. This is a tough topic for me because I have to be careful of what I say,” Bradley joked, according to a report Tuesday by the Naples Daily News.
“I personally, obviously, don’t agree with the ban,” he said, according to the report. “I’m not going to sit here and say I agree with the USGA. But I do respect what the USGA is doing and what they’re trying to do. It doesn’t mean that I agree with it, but they’re trying to protect the game in the best way that they think. I don’t think what they’re doing is exactly right because it does affect some of us professionals and the way we make a living, so it’s a little difficult.”
Bradley had a runner-up finish at last week’s World Challenge, but during the third round, he was heckled and called a “cheater” by a spectator on the 18th hole.
That prompted the U.S. Golf Association to issue a statement a day later in which it condemned the actions of an “obviously uneducated spectator” and apologized to Bradley.
Asked about the divisive nature of the anchoring debate, Bradley said, according to the report: “I love that it causes controversy because whenever there’s controversy, it means you’re doing something – on one side, you’re doing something right. The more putts I make with this putter, the crazier it’s going to make people. I hope that this is going to be a huge issue because I hope I’m going to be making as many putts as possible.”