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McIlroy: Tour should follow governing bodies' lead

Rory McIlroy in the 2013 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship news conference
Getty Images

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – If it were up to Rory McIlroy, the PGA Tour would follow the U.S. Golf Association and Royal & Ancient Golf Club’s ultimate ruling on anchored putting.

“We’ve trusted this game of golf, we’ve put it in the hands of the R&A and the USGA, for I don’t know how many years,” McIlroy said Tuesday at The Honda Classic. “And we’ve always abided by the rules that they have set. I don't think this should be any different. If they think that it’s for the good of the game . . . I think golf’s pretty good at the minute and it’s in good hands.'

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said Sunday that the Tour was opposed to the proposed rule change that would ban anchoring a putter, but he declined to say if the PGA Tour would follow implementation of such a rule. 

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“You’re going to have a few guys that say they don’t want it, and there are going to be guys that have used it their whole lives that say that they can’t play without it,” McIlroy said. “But if it were up to me, whatever decision the USGA comes to, because obviously they had this 90-day period [for comment], whatever it was, so maybe the pressure that the PGA Tour has put on them, they might change their minds and re-think it. And if they do that, then that’s totally fine with me.”

McIlroy was uncomfortable with the PGA Tour and USGA and R&A being on different sides of this issue.

“I read a thing that Monty [Colin Montgomerie] said this divide isn’t good for golf, and I don’t think it is,” McIlroy said. “I think we all need to 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. 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 that they should allow belly putters, or anchor putters, to make it easier for the general public, then you know, that’s a good thing.

“But then they talk about bifurcation and whether you should have one set of rules for us and one set of rules for the amateurs. It’s just a bit of a mess. It’s just opened a can of worms with it.”