Players' reactions mixed on anchoring ban

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FORT WORTH, Texas -- Even though Corey Pavin never has used a long putter during a professional career that has spanned three decades, the 53-year-old former Ryder Cup captain came to the defense of those who do.

Pavin, speaking at a Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial news conference on Tuesday, said he really doesn't see anything wrong with the anchored stroke that golf's governing bodies jointly banned earlier in the day.

"I imagine if somebody said to me, I can't use a short putter anymore, and I would have to use a long putter, that would be pretty difficult," Pavin said.

The ban, announced by The Royal & Ancient Golf Club and U.S. Golf Association under Rule 14-1b, will not take effect until 2016.

"I'm glad it wasn't made across the board that they just banned long putters,'' said Pavin, a two-time Colonial champion playing the event for the 30th straight year. "They have been around too long, forever, I guess. The last 30 years. It is a long time to have something legal and then make it illegal.

"I'm not so sure stopping anchoring is that big a deal as far as a change of a rule. I'm not sure it was necessary. But that's the way they went and that's what the rules are now. Well, they are in 2016."

Tim Clark and Carl Pettersson have put together solid PGA Tour careers using the anchoring stroke with long putters for 15 and 16 years, respectively. Both declined comment on the ban Tuesday.

Understandably, both have been critics of the change.

Clark's speech during the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in January helped to sway the views of many of the players and executives around the tour.

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