sport

Mickelson against putter ban

Phil Mickelson said on Wednesday that banning long putters would be "grossly unfair''.

An announcement is expected soon from golf's ruling bodies - the Royal and Ancient Club and United States Golf Association - after growing concerns about the increasing use of belly and broomhandle putters.

"I understand both sides, it's just that I don't think you can take away what you've allowed players to use, practise and play with for 30 years," Mickelson said on the eve of the Barclays Singapore Open. "I think it is grossly unfair.

"I also understand that it's a better way to putt and all young players should start to putt that way as they get older. It's a more efficient way to putt.

"I am concerned about some amateur players that use it and I don't want to deter people from the game of golf."

Tiger Woods has suggested a rule making the putter the shortest club in the bag, but Australian Adam Scott - one of those currently using a long putter - said: "I'm not necessarily sure his views on what the putter should be are correct at all.

"I don't think the putter should be the shortest club in the bag. That has never been a rule in golf, so I don't know why it should be now."

American Keegan Bradley last year became the first player to win a major with a long putter, but has already been followed by Webb Simpson and Ernie Els.

If a ban is introduced it is likely to take effect from the start of 2016.