Australian golf icon Jack Newton has labelled Adam Scott a better golfer than Greg Norman - and urged the world No.5 to make hay while the sun shines and ignore the proposed ban on the broomstick putter.
Taking aim at the decision by the game's rule makers to outlaw the anchoring of putters to the body from 2016 - essentially a ban on broomstrick and belly putters - Newton said Scott would be best served by sticking with the formula that has propelled him up the rankings.
At the Jack Newton Celebrity Classic at Cyprus Lakes, Newton said he was confident the 32-year-old was on the verge of claiming a first major victory he almost nailed at this year's British Open.
"I'd be just carving up whatever I could," Newton said when asked if Scott should abandon the long putter.
"I used to criticise his putting and he didn't like that ... he was in denial about putting. He's gone for the long one and he's putting super."
Scott looked so good in fact that Newton labelled him a better player than Norman - a two-time major winner - and even 14-time major champion Tiger Woods.
"Adam Scott is a better player than Greg quite frankly," Newton said. "I won't say he's got the bottle that Norman had, but he's a damn good player and I think he's just getting to the stage now where he's pretty close to winning one (a major) and he probably should have won the British Open ... I don't think he's far away."
"He's better than Tiger - he's got the best swing in the game, no doubt about it."
The swing had never been an issue for Scott, and with the move to the long putter it appeared his putting woes had also been resolved until the recent decision by the Royal & Ancient Golf Club and the US Golf Association.
Scott practised with the short putter in the lead-up to this month's Australian Open before reverting to the long putter for the tournament, and has said he is not worried about the possibility of having to change his stroke.
Newton labelled the ban a knee-jerk reaction to the fact three of the past five major winners had used putters anchored to the body, claiming there were bigger issues in the game.
"Jack Nicklaus and myself and a number of the other players were crying out for the Royal and Ancient and the USGA to do something about the golf ball because it's going too far," Newton said.
"It's threatening the history of all the great courses ... they're pushing everything out at Augusta, the British Opens now they've got 500-yard par fours - it's crap.
"I just can't believe the Royal and Ancient made that decision (on the putter) because long putters have been around now for 25-plus years - they approved it and now they're back-tracking on it.
"I'm not convinced it will actually happen, they haven't said it's definitely going to happen - it's on the table."
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