Pettersson claims long putters no easier to use than short version

SWEDE Carl Pettersson, the latest golfer to lead a major using a long putter, sees no need to bring in a ban on them.

The sport’s governing bodies are widely expected to announce soon that from 2016 it will no longer be legal to use the club – this after Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson and Ernie Els captured the USPGA, Masters and Open titles in the last 12 months.

But Pettersson, whose opening six-under-par 66 took him into yesterday’s USPGA second round at Kiawah Island one in front, said: “I’ve used one for 15 years now. I don’t see why they should change it. I don’t like the way they say it’s easier to putt with a long putter, an anchored putter. It isn’t easier. If it was easier everybody on Tour would use a long putter or a belly putter.

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“You have to practice and develop a stroke with the long putter just like you do with the short putter. There’s no guarantee of making it easier.

“I think the long putter has been around for 30 years and I think it would be a shame if they did ban it. If you’re going to ban the long putter, you might as well ban the hybrids, the big drivers, the ball that goes 300 miles. I think it falls into the same umbrella as some of the other equipment. This is the way the game has gone.”

Pettersson is now a dual citizen of Sweden and the United States, passing a test earlier this year which included the following question: what is the ocean to the east of America?

The five-time PGA Tour winner, competing on the shores of the Atlantic this week, is not eligible for either Europe or the United States in the Ryder Cup, however.

He is not a member of the European Tour and therefore has not collected points since the race started last August and to play for America he had to become a citizen by the time he was 18.

“I don’t think I could fake that one,” joked the 34-year-old, who with a young family chose not to rejoin the European circuit.

“At the beginning of the year I was 102nd in the world and so wasn’t in any of the world championships. I would love to experience the Ryder Cup, but I thought playing 13 European Tour events would be too many.”

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