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Keegan Bradley Heckled: Fan Calls Golfer 'Cheater' Over Anchoring, USGA Criticizes 'Deplorable Incident'

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By Golfweek Staff, Golfweek

On Saturday, Keegan Bradley says that he was heckled by a fan off the 18th green at the end of his third round at the Tiger Woods World Challenge, with the fan calling him a "cheater" because of his continued use of his long putter.

This comes only days after the USGA and R&A proposed a ban of anchored putting on Jan. 1, 2016.

The USGA made the following statement on Saturday's incident at Sherwood Country Club:

"The United States Golf Association (USGA) today issued the following statement regarding yesterday’s incident at the World Challenge in which a spectator called Keegan for changes to the Rules of Golf.

'This is a deplorable incident, and there is no place in our game for this kind of behavior. As we noted when announcing proposed Rule 14-1b, it has been and remains entirely within the Rules of Golf for players to anchor the club while making a stroke. There should not be a shred of criticism of such players or any qualification or doubt about their achievements, and we think that it is inappropriate even to suggest anything to the contrary. Rule changes address the future and not the past. Up until now and until such time as a Rule change were to be implemented, golfers using an anchored stroke will have been playing by the Rules of Golf.

'We are sorry that Keegan had to experience this unfounded criticism from an obviously uneducated spectator. Instead, Keegan and other PGA Tour professionals should be commended for their maturity and grace in managing through a proposed change to the Rules of Golf.

'While we understand that the proposed Rules change would cause some short-term angst, we believe the new Rule would serve the long-term best interest of the game.' "

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