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Els: Long putter far from a 'magic wand'

Ernie Els
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JEJU, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 26: Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand and caddie line up his putt on the 17th hole during the final round of the Ballantine's Championship at Pinx Golf Club on April 26, 2009 in Jeju, South Korea. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)  - 

Ernie Els’ views on anchoring certainly have come a long way since fall 2011, when he famously said: “As long as it’s legal, I’ll keep cheating like the rest of them.”

Well, anchoring is still legal, at least until 2016, and the reigning British Open champion again voiced his disappointment with the governing bodies’ decision to ban the anchored stroke, saying the long putter is not a “magic wand.”

“Well, I think 10 years ago, I was in a different view than I am now,” he said, via an unbylined report by SuperSport. “For a lot of guys they thought it was a magic wand – you put your hands on it and you're going to make putts. But it's taken me a long time to get used to it. …

“So in all honesty, I'm not for it if they change it. But if so then so be it; I'm not the rulesmaker. There are people that want to look after the game and the future of the game, and if they feel that they need to ban it, I'll go with it, but I'm definitely not for that.”

Els, who turned to the belly putter two years ago, ended more than a two-year Tour winless drought with his victory last July at Royal Lytham. Though the proposed ban on anchoring wouldn’t take effect until 2016, the Tour could create its own rule and outlaw the method much earlier, perhaps as soon as October.

Els said he recently played two rounds at the Johor Open with the conventional putter – “And it felt quite good,” he added – but maintained that he has no intentions to revert back anytime soon. This week, at the Volvo Golf Champions, the 43-year-old is using his trusty belly putter.