Long-time broomstick user Bernhard Langer ardently defended the legality of the long putter on Thursday, questioning the sense behind any action to ban the anchored stroke.
The 59-year-old has used a long putter for more than two decades and has been one of the most successful with it. Asked to weigh in on the debate around a potential ban of the "anchored" stroke, Langer seemed befuddled by calls to ban long putters.
“I don’t understand that they’ve been used for 20, 30 years and only now they say ‘We think they’re illegal’,” Langer said after the first round of the Senior Open Championship.
The German believes the major victories of Webb Simpson, Keegan Bradley and Ernie Els while using belly putters has spurred their scorning.
“So for three decades nobody won a major with one, and now because three have, they’re illegal?" he said. "I’m sorry, I don’t accept that argument whatsoever. It doesn’t make sense.”
Els has said he believes the putters should be banned, but will continue to use them so long as they are legal. Langer, however, believes a larger sample of long-putter users should be heard before action is taken.
“You hear all these quotes from Gary Player or Luke Donald and all these guys who use the small putter, saying 'Yeah, ban the long putters,'" he said. "Why don’t they ask some of us (who use them) just to make it fair?"
At a minimum, Langer would like to have a conversation with those at the R&A and U.S. Golf Association that could bar them. He can't even get that satisfaction, however.
"I even played with (R&A chief executive) Peter Dawson in the pro-am here yesterday," Langer said, "and he didn’t bring it up’.”