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Originally published Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 6:06 PM

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Carl Pettersson compares proposed ban to 'witch hunt' | Golf

PGA Tour player Carl Pettersson says the proposed rule to ban the anchored stroke for long putters feels like a "witch hunt," and that golf's governing bodies were merely reacting to three of the last five major champions using a belly putter.

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KAPALUA, Hawaii — Carl Pettersson says the proposed rule to ban the anchored stroke for long putters feels like a "witch hunt," and that golf's governing bodies were merely reacting to three of the last five major champions using a belly putter.

"It seems silly to ban something that's been around for 40 years," Pettersson said in his first comments since the U.S. Golf Association and the R&A announced plans Nov. 28 to outlaw anchored strokes. "It's unfortunate. I feel like I'm 16 years behind because I haven't putted with anything else for 16 years."

Pettersson, 35, is in the Tournament of Champions that starts Friday.

Two more months of comment period remain before the rule becomes official; it would take effect in 2016.

USGA executive director Mike Davis said he has tried to call a number of players who use long putters.

"It's not so much to try to convince them of our point of view, it was more listening to theirs," Davis said.

Did Pettersson return Davis' call?

"No," Pettersson replied. "I just didn't want to talk about it. And there's nothing I could do."

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