GOLF

Simpson, Bradley would grudgingly accept USGA prohibition on belly putters

Webb Simpson and Keegan Bradley, two of the major faces in the debate over belly putters, said Tuesday they would not fight a change in the rules if golf’s governing bodies decide to outlaw putters anchored to the body.

That doesn’t mean they’re in favor of a ban.

“I’m obviously not happy with the ruling, but I respect the USGA, and especially Mike Davis,” Bradley said. “They make the rules and I’ll adjust appropriately. But I’m going to accept the challenge and hopefully do well when they do ban it.”

Davis, the USGA executive director, and Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson have scheduled a press conference Wednesday to announce their conclusions on the future of long putters. All indications point toward a ban on anchoring the club.

At issue is not the putter itself, but whether it can be anchored to the body, such as the stomach (belly putters) or the chest (long putters).

The long putters have been in vogue for the better part of 25 years, though a recent surge in use got the attention of golf’s two governing bodies. Bradley became the first major champion with a belly putter when he won the PGA Championship last year. Simpson won the U.S. Open using a belly putter, and Ernie Els won the British Open with a belly putter.

SKIING

WORLD CUP: Austria’s Klaus Kroell turned in the fastest time in a downhill training run on a sun-splashed Birds of Prey course at Beaver Creek, Colo., charging down the demanding hill in 1 minute, 41.52 seconds.

SOCCER

AP GLOBAL: Lionel Messi moved back to the top of the AP Global Soccer rankings, and Barcelona stayed No. 1 in the team poll after a 4-0 win over Levante in the Spanish league. Messi earned 183 out of a possible 200 points from The Associated Press’ panel of 20 soccer journalists.

CYCLING

TOUR OF CALIFORNIA: For the first time, the Amgen Tour of California will begin in the south and take cyclists on a northward route in 2013. The 750-mile stage race will begin in Escondido on May 12 and take riders through Santa Barbara, San Jose and San Francisco before ending in Santa Rosa on May 19.

RACING

FUNNY CAR: Del Worsham will be back in the driver seat in 2013 when he returns to Funny Car with Kalitta Motorsports. He had walked away at the top after finally winning an NHRA’s 2011 Top Fuel title.

 

– From news service reports