Inane 'fans' stoop low to abuse Bradley:The long and the short of it is the RA and the USGA have put the proposed rule change on anchoring putters into a public forum. Still, the treatment meted out to Keegan Bradley – called a “cheater” when heckled by “fans” during Saturday’s third round of the World Challenge – is further evidence of a deterioration in spectator etiquette at tournaments.
In fairness to the USGA, a statement was issued post haste to condemn the heckling and pointing out that there will be no change in the existing rule (until January 2016). “This is a deplorable incident, and there is no place in our game for this kind of behaviour. As we noted when announcing proposed Rule 14-1b, it has been and remains entirely within the Rules of Golf for players to anchor the club while making a stroke. There should not be a shred of criticism of such players or any qualification or doubt about their achievements, and we think that it is inappropriate even to suggest anything to the contrary. Rule changes address the future and not the past. Up until now and until such time as a Rule change were to be implemented, golfers using an anchored stroke will have been playing by the Rules of Golf.
“We are sorry that Keegan had to experience this unfounded criticism from an obviously uneducated spectator. Instead, Keegan and other PGA Tour professionals should be commended for their maturity and grace in managing through a proposed change to the Rules of Golf.
“While we understand that the proposed Rules change would cause some short-term angst, we believe the new Rule would serve the long-term best interest of the game.”
The Bradley incident will – hopefully – be seen as a one-off but, unfortunately, the idiots who attend tournaments to shout absurdities like “get in the hole” (on tee shots on Par 4s and Pars 5s) and “mashed potatoes” and such like are still around.
Could golf’s governing bodies possibly bring in a rule to silence such inanities?
Seve Tribute's box set a sure-fire winner
The European Tour’s online store was inundated with hits on the Sunday of the Ryder Cup at Medinah, when stay-at-home fans used their laptops and smartphones to leave the cyber shelves cleared out by the time Martin Kaymer sank the putt that ensured Jose Maria Olazabal’s team retained the famed trophy.
The reason for the massive number of hits – and sales – was the tour put up replica clothing similar to that worn by the European team, complete with the embroidered tribute to Seve Ballesteros which so inspired Olazabal’s men in the fightback that left the United States shell-shocked.
If the sold out icon was put up on the tour’s website quicker than anyone could have envisaged, at least the European Tour have reacted wisely in releasing a special limited edition box set, (supplied by Glenmuir) for the Christmas market with all proceeds going to the Seve Ballesteros Foundation.