Bernhard Langer: If you don’t like my putting stroke, you’re just jealous

Boredom Spieth
Boredom Spieth
Boredom Spieth
Contributor

Bernhard Langer is channeling his inner Miranda Sings with some “haters back off” remarks about his putting stroke.

Langer, if you’ll recall, along with fellow Champions Tour Scott McCarron, drew Brandel Chamblee’s ire. Earlier this month, Chamblee suggested that the lack of clear separation between hand and body casts doubt on whether a player is anchoring.

His attack was twofold: Tours should enforce Rule 14-1b more judiciously (without such focus on player “intent”) and players should have more integrity than to come so close to crossing the line.

Chamblee and McCarron released a statement July 7 in which Langer said, “I’m certain that I am not anchoring the putter and that my putting stroke is not violating the Rules of Golf.”

Ahead of the Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl, Bernhard Langer is still mounting a defense, and it looks like he’s throwing some shade Brandel’s way.

“It’s human to be jealous, let’s put it that way,” Langer said. “If I was 180th on the money list, I don’t think anybody would be talking about it. But I’ve been No. 1 the last few years.

Probably true. Chamblee was a PGA Tour pro for a time with one career victory to his name. Langer could be suggesting the Golf Channel analyst is upset he’s sitting in the studio while Langer, roughly the same age, is out winning tournaments.

Langer continued, saying he doesn’t get the fuss.

“I personally don’t understand it. Because I’m a man of integrity, and the last thing I want to do is break rules and be known for cheating. I’m not touching any part of my body, and I know I’m within the rules. I have conferred with the rules officials on a regular basis, and they have wholeheartedly said, ‘You’re not breaking any rule.’ You have a few people who question my integrity, which is really hurtful.”

Since the German is still confused, here’s the issue: Like Chamblee said, Langer, who actually anchors his putter during his practice stroke and holds it milimeters away when putting, comes too close to breaking the rule (or does on occasion, by touching the putter to his body).

The opinion is, Langer should avoid even the appearance of impropriety and, in essence, hold the putter further away from the body.

It’s worth mentioning (for the millionth time) that the USGA opened this can of worms by allowing for long putters to be used but not held against the body and for “armlock” putting strokes (ala Matt Kuchar).

If they’d simply stated “conventional length putters held with both hands and not anchored in any way,” we wouldn’t be in this quagmire. However, it’s tough to be upset about any venom directed toward Brandel Chamblee.