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Pro Sports

Governing golf bodies change putter rules

Golf’s two governing bodies outlawed the anchored putting stroke used by four of the last six major champions, approving a new rule that starts in 2016 and urging the PGA Tour to follow along so the 600-year-old sport is still played under one set of rules.

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club and the U.S. Golf Association adopted Rule 14-1b, which prohibits players from anchoring a club against their bodies.

The decision Tuesday ends six months of sometimes rancorous debate. The rule was opposed by the PGA Tour and the PGA of America, which contended the stroke commonly used for long putters was not hurting the game and there was no statistical proof that it was an advantage.

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