The PGA Tour has come out against the proposed ban of anchored putters from 2016 - but is not saying yet what it will do if the ban comes into force.The rule-making Royal and Ancient Club and United States Golf Association are in a period of consultation at the moment, but the US tour's announcement will probably give them real cause for thought, especially as the PGA of America are also against the move.Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said today: 'Our player advisory council looked at it twice. We had the USGA come in and make a presentation to a player meeting in San Diego and the USGA made a presentation to our board.
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'We researched and looked at it and articulated our position at the end of last week to the USGA and shared that thinking also with the R&A.
'Essentially where the PGA Tour came down was that they did not think that banning anchoring was in the best interest of golf or the PGA Tour.'Finchem also stated that 13 of the 15 players on their advisory council were against the ban.
'I would note that the PGA of America came to the same conclusion after consultation with their membership. The Golf Course Owners Association came to the same conclusion as well,' Finchem said.
'I think the essential thread that went through the thinking of the players and our board of directors and others was that in the absence of data or any basis to conclude that there is a competitive advantage to be gained by using anchoring - and given the amount of time that anchoring has been in the game, that there was no over-riding reason to go down that road.
Not in our name: The PGA has come out against the proposed ban of anchored putters from 2016
'An awful lot of amateurs today use anchoring and a number of players on the PGA Tour who have grown up with a focus on perfecting the anchoring method, if you will, did so after the USGA on multiple occasions approved the method years ago.
'For us to join in supporting a ban we think as a direction is unfair to both groups of individuals.
'We have worked with the USGA over the last 20 years on a wide range of rules issues.
'I continue to hope that regardless of where this matter ends up that it gets there after a process that is good-natured, open and not contrary or divisive. That's certainly our intention.
Level playing field: Tim Finchem says the ban would be unfair to the scores of juniors who have grown up using the putter
'We hold the USGA in the highest regard as a key part of the game of golf. We don't attempt to denigrate that position in any way whatsoever.
'It's just on this issue we think if they were to move forward they would be making a mistake.'Asked what happens if the ban happens, Finchem added: 'I don't know because we have, I think carefully and intentionally, avoided at this point getting into a discussion about that issue.
'We have not even begun that discussion.
'This is a very subjective area. Everybody has an opinion about it and we certainly respect everybody's opinion.
Anchor men: Fred Couples of the United States is another player who uses the belly putter
'The PGA of America has concluded that it will hurt the game with certain numbers of amateurs. We agree with that.
'One thing we know for sure on the professional side is the professional game globally is stronger than it's ever been today and that on the heels of having anchoring as part of it for the last 30 or 40 years.
'It certainly hasn't been a negative. You can't point to one negative impact of anchoring.
'Now some people might say I don't think you should anchor or I don't think you should do that or I don't think you should do that, but it hasn't translated into a negative thing for the sport.
'That's why we're having trouble with it.'In reaction to the news, former Europe Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie warned the proposed ban could 'open up a whole new can of worms.'
'It's a very dangerous situation we are getting ourselves into and I do hope they can sort this out very, very quickly,' said Montgomerie on Sky Sports.
'I thought, as we all did, that the rules of golf were set by the R&A and the USGA. Tim Finchem has obviously thought otherwise. Whether the European Tour think that or not has to be debated too.'I think we should go with what the R&A and USGA feel. Whether the long putter should have been banned 20 years ago or not, it should be banned now.'We should abide by that. To now go against that and say 'my players aren't going to go by that' then what happens when you come to USGA events or the British Open?'Does that mean you have to use a different club?'He's said 'we abide by the rules of golf, but I think we are going to change this one'.'Does that mean other rules can change as well? We want to play as one under the same rules.'The R&A and USGA have served the game of golf for a long, long time and long may that continue.'
Warning: Former Europe Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie said the proposed ban could open the door for inconsistency between tournaments and further rule changes
- 2013/02/27(水) 16:18:32|