Length of play, not putters, the issue - Williams

NATHAN BURDON
Last updated 05:00 30/11/2012
Steve Williams
Fairfax NZ
STEVE WILLIAMS: "It's really hard to fathom. To be that good, that young, and that composed at that age is just incredible."

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Kiwi caddie Steve Williams thinks golf officials should forget about the length of putters and target the length of time it takes the pros to complete their rounds.

There has been widespread speculation that two of golf's governing bodies, the Royal and Ancient and the US Golf Association, plan to ban anchoring putters against the body - although any change isn't likely to take effect until 2016.

Williams, who raced in the second round of the South Island speedweek series he helps organise in Invercargill last night, is on the bag of world No 5 Adam Scott, the highest-ranked player who uses a belly-putter.

"The statistics show that there's no advantage to using a belly-putter or a long putter, or however you want to describe it," Williams said yesterday.

"I've said to Adam, they spend so much time worrying about the length of the long putter, but I think one thing that's to the detriment of the tour is the pace of play. Some of the tournaments we are playing these days, the pace of play is ridiculous."

Rather than sweeping out the "broomstick" putter, golf should be concentrating on speeding up the game, Williams said.

"I think it's a far bigger issue. When you talk to spectators, and friends and family watching on TV, they can't believe how long it takes now," he said.

"You should be playing in 4hr 30min, 4hr 40min. It's getting to the stage where it's getting over five hours on a constant basis. That's just ridiculous."

Williams was hoping for better luck at Invercargill's Riverside Speedway last night after a previous visit here in 2009 ended before he even got to race when he blew up a camshaft.

The five-round series moves on to Cromwell tonight and finishes in Blenheim on Sunday.

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