Officials to discuss rule for using long putters

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LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England (AP) -- Golf officials are discussing whether they should ban long putters.

Ernie Els became the third champion in the last four majors to use a belly putter. He won the British Open after Adam Scott -- who uses a long putter -- bogeyed his last four holes. Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open and Keegan Bradley won the PGA Championship using belly putters.

Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson says the discussion on long putters began before Els won. He says the R&A and U.S. Golf Association have the topic "firmly back on the radar" and a decision could be a few months away.

Dawson says it could be a change to the rules -- not an equipment decision -- which means it could not be in effect until 2016.