Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Golf [Print without images]

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Updated: March 1, 2:30 PM ET
Tiger keeps position on anchor ban

By Bob Harig
ESPN.com

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- Tiger Woods reiterated his position on the anchored putting debate Wednesday, saying that he doesn't believe the practice should be allowed.

"My position hasn't changed," Woods said after his pro-am round at the Honda Classic, where he begins the first round at 7:25 a.m. on Thursday. "I still think that it should be swung, it shouldn't be anchored, and that hasn't changed at all. But obviously nothing is set in stone, nothing's firm.

"The USGA (United States Golf Association) and R&A (Royal & Ancient) are the governing bodies of our rules, and we'll see what happens. Hopefully we don't have to bifurcate (have separate rules for pros and amateurs) or adapt a local rule like we do sometimes out here on tour (but all are within the Rules of Golf). Hopefully we won't have to do that with the putter."

The USGA and R&A announced their proposed change, in which using an anchored stroke would no longer be allowed, to the Rules of Golf on Nov. 28. The rule would not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2016. They allowed for a three-month comment period, which ends Thursday, with a decision expected sometime in the spring.

On Sunday, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem came out against the ban -- although less than 20 percent of his players use an anchored stroke -- and said the PGA Tour's policy board had sent a letter to the governing bodies stating its desire to have the anchoring ban dropped.

"I understand that; I get it," Woods said. "The guys that play our tour, all three of them who have won major championships with an anchored putter … play our tour full time. I understand his position. But I still feel that all 14 clubs should be swung. That hasn't changed at all."

Woods was referring to Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els, who have won three of the past five major championships using an anchored stroke. Bradley on Tuesday expressed frustration over the issue and how anchored putting is being referred to as cheating.

Woods will be making his fourth official start of the year, having missed the cut at his first event in Abu Dhabi, followed by his 75th PGA Tour victory at the Farmers Insurance Open. Last week he lost to Charles Howell III in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

"Generally, if you're missing a cut, you're probably not playing that well," he said. "But I actually played well, and only played one day. I missed a few putts out there, but other than that, I really played well and unfortunately I ran into a guy who also played well, better than I did. That's just the nature of the business in that format."