PGA could drop anchor on proposed rule, says Finchem
23 Jan 2013 - 20:47:04
US PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said Wednesday that the circuit possibly could refuse to adopt a proposed new rule on anchored putting but would prefer to follow the rules.
The US Golf Association (USGA) and Royal and Ancient, the sport's rulemaking bodies, have proposed banning anchored strokes.
The subject was a major topic at a mandatory players meeting on Tuesday ahead of the Farmers Insurance Open, a $6.1 million event that begins Thursday at Torrey Pines.
Finchem said he wants to keep the PGA in line with the same rules used by players at other levels rather than not adopt the anchored stroke ban.
"Technically there is that possibility," Finchem said. "However it certainly wouldn't be our objective. Our objective is to follow the rules and keep the rules together."
USGA executive director Mike Davis spoke to players about the rule change proposal at the meeting and the discussion continued after the presentation with a reaction expected to be given to the USGA and R and A before April.
"The PGA Tour will provide the USGA a reaction to their proposal in the next few weeks," Finchem said. "That's a process and it includes a deliberation by our policy board, which will occur in the next few weeks also."
Finchem said he did not see a rule split over this issue as important.
"We believe in the notion that one body of rules is important and that's always our intent. We just reserve the option not to if we have overriding reasons not to do so," Finchem said.
Sorting out when to begin the ban is an issue when some tour players have developed the anchored stroke as their primary method of putting throughout their careers.
Finchem said one style over another is not a fairness issue or indicative of a competitiveness issue, but there needs to be consideration of styles as both sides feel they are acting in golf's best interest.
"People who want to see anchoring go away firmly believe that they have the best interest of the game at heart," Finchem said.
"The people who don't think it's necessary are equally robust in their enthusiasm for what's best for the game."