Colin Montgomerie says PGA Tour statement on anchored putting strokes is 'dangerous' for golf
Last Updated: 27/02/13 9:16pm
Belly Putter row confuses Monty
Colin Montgomerie feels the PGA Tour's opposition to the ban on belly putters is "dangerous" for the future of the sport.
The USGA and R&A, who carry the responsibility for making the laws of golf, have proposed outlawing anchored putting strokes, but PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem announced this weekend he does not feel such a ban "was in the best interest of golf or the PGA Tour".
"Does that mean that other rules can change as well? It's a very dangerous situation that we get ourselves into."
He fell short of confirming that the PGA Tour would refuse to abide by the new rules, which are still undergoing a consultation process, but Montgomerie said he was concerned by the statement.
The former European Ryder Cup captain is opposed to the use of long putters or belly putters, but says the most worrying issue is a possible "localisation" of the laws of the game.
"This has opened up a whole new can of worms," Montgomerie told Sky Sports.
"I thought, as we all did, that the rules of golf are set by the R&A and the USGA, but Tim Finchem has obviously thought otherwise and whether or not the European Tour thinks that has to be debated too.
"I think we should go with what the R&A and USGA feel and in my view the long putter, whether it should have been banned 20 years ago or not, should be banned now.
"I think Peter Dawson is dead right and Mike Davis of the USGA is dead right as well. The pair of them have got together with their committees and decided this is the rules of golf - and we should abide by that.
"To now go against that and say 'my players aren't going to go by that' and have a local rule where you can anchor the putter, then what happens when you come to USGA events and the British Open, an R&A event, for instance? Does that mean that you have to use a different club because it's a different rule?
"It's a very dangerous situation we're getting ourselves into and I do hope they can sort this out very, very quickly."
Montgomerie believes the rulebook should remain in the hands of the R&A and USGA to ensure uniformity for the sport across the world.
Golf Chiefs explain changes
And he saw Finchem's comments, which came in an interview over the weekend, as a real threat to their position.
"He has said we abide by the rules of golf... but I think we're going to change this one," Montgomerie added.
"Does that mean that other rules can change as well? It's a very dangerous situation that we get ourselves into.
"We don't want two separate entities here. We want to play as one and all playing under the same rules.
"The R&A and USGA have served the game of golf for a long time and long may that continue."