World number one Rory McIlroy admits belly putter saga is a 'mess'
Rory McIlroy has put his hefty support behind the proposed ban
Tuesday 26 February 2013
When the world No 1 speaks, golf listens. Rory McIlroy put his hefty support behind the proposed ban on belly putters, siding with the Royal & Ancient and the United States Golf Association and railing against the PGA Tour which has decided to take a stand against the game's ruling bodies to allow its Tour players to use the controversial putters which are due to be exiled from the game in 2016.
Such a high-profile dissenter among the professional ranks will no doubt cause a belly ache for the PGA Tour chief executive, Tim Finchem, as McIlroy arrived to defend his Honda Classic title, a victory that took him to No 1 last year, here at the PGA National course at Palm Beach, Florida.
"I read that Monty [Colin Montgomerie] said this divide isn't good for golf, and I don't think it is," McIlroy said. "We all need to be on one side or the other. It's up to the governing bodies to decide. I saw what Tim Finchem had to say at the end of last week, and you know, I sort of think it was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to how much success people were having with it."
As the debate rages among amateurs and professionals alike, McIlroy's thoughts illustrated the complexity of the arguments for and against the ban. "I'm all for people enjoying the game and trying to make the game as easy as possible and bringing people to the game," he said. "If that means that they should allow belly putters or anchored putters to make it easier for the general public, then you know, that's a good thing. But then they talk about 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," McIlroy said. "It's just opened a can of worms."
McIlroy played 36 holes in just five hours alongside Tiger Woods after being knocked out in the first round of last week's WGC-Accenture Match Play in Tucson, Arizona. "We had two matches. He beat me the first time and I beat him in the second, so we're even," he said with a grin.
Latest in Sport
Anthony Martial: 'It's normal Wayne Rooney doesn't know who I am..and it's up to me to justify €80m price tag'
Manchester United can learn lessons from the transfer template of rivals Manchester City
Pavement The Forum, London
Arsene Wenger uses Anthony Martial's €80m move to Manchester United to defend Arsenal's transfer inactivity this summer
Louis van Gaal labelled a 'scoundrel' over Javier Hernandez penalty reaction during Manchester United win
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up