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'Bad for the game, but good for me' -- Pádraig Harrington defends belly putter use

It was still a disaster of a round for the Dubliner.

Image: Francisco Seco/AP/Press Association Images

PÁDRAIG HARRINGTON HAD a bad day at the office yesterday.

The Dubliner shot  an eight-over-par 80 in the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina — and he used a belly putter while doing it.

Afterwards the three-time major winner — who is an R&A ambassador — said he might persist with the controversial belly putter until the proposed ban on anchored strokes comes into effect in 2016.

“The R&A and USGA support the rules of golf and (anchoring) is well within the rules,” Harrington told reporters at Quail Hollow. “I think (anchoring) is bad for the game of golf. But if something’s going to help me for the next three and a half years I’m going to use it.

“It’s the same as the box (square) grooves. It’s hurt me deeply having the box grooves banned. I knew it wasn’t good for my game, but it was for the good of the game. For the majority, I believe anchoring shouldn’t be there. It doesn’t look good. The commentators are talking about it. You (the media) are talking about it now. It’s a story, just like the grooves.

“As much as the grooves cost me dearly, I know nobody wants to talk about that now. Six months after they were gone, nobody talked about it. It will be the same with the putter. Once it’s banned, six months later everybody will move on.

“But it cost me a couple of shots a day, at least a shot a day, not having the box grooves because that’s my style of game. So it’s not like it hasn’t happened before. But for the game, I definitely think that I don’t agree with anchoring at all.”

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