The decision to ban anchored putters was a huge development for the PGA Tour, but the backlash has been extraordinary. This past week at the Accenture, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem came out opposing the proposed ban by the USGA (while the European Tour is on boat with the ban) and all the while some of the players are bearing the brunt of it.
Keegan Bradley, the first player to ever win a major championship while yielding an anchored putter, said during his Honda Classic press conference that the word "cheater" has not stopped in his direction and he's downright sick of it.
"I'm being called a cheater more than ever by fans, by some writers -- none of your guys -- and it's really tough. A lot of it's on Twitter, which is ridiculous, anyways, I know. I do read it and I shouldn't. I can't imagine how people can say that to me or to anybody out here. It's been really difficult, and I'm sick of it to be honest. I'm ready to be over it. I realize that this is going to be an issue now for the next couple years, at least. I hope the USGA thought about us players before they did this, because it's been really difficult on me and I know it's been really difficult on some other players, too."
It doesn't take but a minute to scroll through a Twitter search and see the types of people that are actually doing this, but I feel like this is something Bradley just needs to brush off. People are going to say ridiculous stuff all the time, especially when you're a major champion, and while it's absolutely incorrect to call someone like Bradley a cheater, obviously the people that are doing it aren't exactly doing it from Mensa headquarters.
This is one of the big problems with such a "proposed ban." This allows people to immediately look at something like an anchored putter and make a decision ("It's illegal!" "Nobody should use that!") instead of simply banning it when you're ready and being done with it.
Tiger Woods mentioned in his press conference that, "I still think that it should be swung, it shouldn't be anchored, and that hasn't changed at all. But obviously nothing is set in stone, nothing's firm," which is an understandable approach from someone that uses a conventional style putter.
Bradley isn't doing anything wrong, and calling him "cheater" is ridiculous, but it is 2013 and these are the situations we run into with social media, the Internet and fame. I promise this isn't the last time someone says something to Bradley from a computer far, far away that he isn't going to like.