USGA hits out at Bradley heckler
Last updated: 2nd December 2012
The US Golf Association has hit out at a spectator who called Keegan Bradley a "cheater" during the Tiger Woods World Challenge.
The USGA and Royal & Ancient have announced that they plan outlaw the use of "pivot points" with long putters from 2016 and Bradley, who anchors his putter to his belly, has questioned the decision.
"I feel like the USGA has really put an 'X' on our back and really shone a light on us, and I don't know if that's exactly fair," he.
"When we started putting with it, they were legal, and they still are. It's a sticky situation, and I hope people can see through that."
The American, though, was the victim of some heckling on the final hole of the World Challenge third round on Saturday when a member of the gallery referred to him as a "cheater".
"[That] was no fun," Bradley said. "But I look forward to hopefully making everything tomorrow with that belly putter and hopefully it'll get a little louder."
The USGA has also come to the 26-year-old's defence, saying players should not be criticised for using the putters.
"This is a deplorable incident, and there is no place in our game for this kind of behaviour," a statement from the organisation read.
"As we noted when announcing proposed Rule 14-1b, it has been and remains entirely within the Rules of Golf for players to anchor the club while making a stroke. There should not be a shred of criticism of such players or any qualification or doubt about their achievements, and we think that it is inappropriate even to suggest anything to the contrary. Rule changes address the future and not the past. Up until now and until such time as a Rule change were to be implemented, golfers using an anchored stroke will have been playing by the Rules of Golf.
"We are sorry that Keegan had to experience this unfounded criticism from an obviously uneducated spectator. Instead, Keegan and other PGA Tour professionals should be commended for their maturity and grace in managing through a proposed change to the Rules of Golf.
"While we understand that the proposed Rules change would cause some short-term angst, we believe the new Rule would serve the long-term best interest of the game."
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