Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker soften tone on anchored putting ban
By mustang6560 on 2/20/13
Following its proposed ban on anchored putting, the USGA and R&A instituted a 90-day comment period to allow the golf world time to evaluate Rule 14-1b.

In the wake of the announcement, it seemed as though the PGA Tour, along with all of the major golf organizations, was going to roll over and accept the decision. But, in recent weeks, the tune the PGA Tour is singing β€” and some of its players β€” is starting to change.

In their pre-WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship press conferences, both Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker softened their opinions on the proposed ban.
Q: Would you be disappointed if the TOUR decided to go against the USGA?

Tiger Woods: Well, I understand if we go either way. We put in local rules every week, and this may or may not be a local rule, but we'll see what happens.
Q: The early reports out of yesterday's PAC meeting seem to suggest that a majority of the players were actually against the ban. I'm curious if you found that surprising, and can you ever envision a scenario where the TOUR would create its own rule separate from the USGA?

Steve Stricker: It's not surprising, I guess, because of all the things that players have gotten to learn about since this has come about. I was the same way; I was for the ban to start with, and my decision or my feeling is swayed a little bit, also.

I think the timing of it is poor. We're at a point in time in the game of golf that we're trying to keep players, lure players into playing the game, and we all feel β€” a majority of the players feel that it only puts a negative spin on that, maybe detracts the local guy, the club member, the public player, whoever, from playing at times.

And this rule has been good for 30 years or so, so yeah, I guess the more information that we've received, I think it's swayed a lot of the players' opinions.

And to your second question, I can see us adopting‑‑ I don't know if that's going to happen. Don't even know if the USGA is going to go ahead with the rule change. But I can see the TOUR adopting the rule saying that it's okay for players to use a long putter. And we have probably a couple other rules out here on our hard card that are different from USGA rules, too, and this wouldn't be any different, I guess.

Earlier in the week, Tim Finchem met with the Player Advisory Council members to discuss the PGA Tour's position on the proposed anchored putting ban. According to one of the PAC members who requested to remain anonymous, the PGA Tour might reject the ban saying "everybody is against it.
"Ten, 20 years ago if you wanted to change the rule, fine, but you are looking at a rule that will impact junior golf and college golf, the amateurs playing at the local club," the player said.
The 90-day comment period is set to end at the end of February so the PGA Tour will have to decide if its going to accept the USGA and R&A amendment, or if it will add a local rule at each event to allow anchored putting. Jim Furyk, who is a member of the PGA Tour's Policy Board, said the tour will issue a formal reply to the ruling bodies in the next few days.

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[ comments ]
Kurt the Knife says:
When anchored putters are outlawed....
joe jones says:
It seems to me that the USGA and Royal and Ancient better listen to the growing sounds of discontent that have developed lately. If they can use their brains instead of their hearts they should re-consider the ruling. The ball is back in their court. No decision ever made should be chiseled in stone. If they really have the good of the game in mind they should alter the ruling. One can only hope.
mmontisano says:
say the PGA TOUR says you can use long putters and the USGA and R&A ban it, players will have to adapt to short putters to play in both Opens. this whole thing is getting more ridiculous every day.
[ post comment ]
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