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Bradley ready to rise to challenge of putter switch

THOUSAND OAKS, California (AFP) –

Keegan Bradley hits his tee shot on the sixth hole during the first round of the Tiger Woods World Challenge

Keegan Bradley hits his tee shot on the sixth hole during the first round of the Tiger Woods World Challenge Presented by Northwestern Mutual at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California.

Keegan Bradley can’t do much about those bashing his use of the belly putter on Twitter, but when his fellow pros were pouring it on, he took action.

“There was a lot of joking around, a lot of ribbing and I finally had enough of it on the putting green the other day,” Bradley said Thursday, after carding a three-under par 69 in the first round of the World Challenge invitational hosted by Tiger Woods.

“I was putting with Tiger, and I grabbed Tiger’s putter, and all of a sudden I see everyone start to walk around and start to look,” said Bradley, who went into golf’s history book as the first player to win a major using a long putter “anchored” on his midriff with his triumph in the 2011 PGA Championship.

“I took his putter, which is about the opposite of what I putt with — it’s upright, it’s light, it’s a blade — and I made three out of four putts from 10 feet.

“So I made sure to remind those guys every time I see them that I made those putts.”

On Wednesday, golf’s global governing bodies announced a proposal to ban putting techniques in which the putter is anchored on the body, intensifying scrutiny of a practice that had been criticized despite being permitted by the rules of golf.

Such a ban wouldn’t go into effect until 2016, and Bradley said he would be ready.

“It’ll be an adjustment, but it’s one that I kind of look forward to, to get to and know I’ve got to work hard, and that excites me,” said Bradley, who won his first title as a professional with a conventional putter.

However, he said he wouldn’t be pushed into making a change before he has to by negative comments on Twitter.

“I’m going to make a switch when I feel is best for me, and whether that’s tomorrow or in three years, we’ll see.”

Bradley insists that the belly putters require skill, and aren’t an instant “cure” for players experiencing putting troubles.

Asked if Woods’ had tried out his putter, Bradley indicated the 14-time major champion’s lack of prowess with the long putter showed the controversial club doesn’t guarantee success.

“You don’t want to see Tiger putt with that putter,” Bradley said. “If it was up to me, I’d film him and send that to (USGA executive director) Mike Davis and I think he would take the ban off.”

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