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Brent Kelley

Faxon: PGA Tour Might Decide on Monday to Oppose Anchoring Ban

By February 17, 2013

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Is the PGA Tour about to throw its weight behind opposition to the USGA/R&A proposed ban on anchoring? Brad Faxon believes so. And in an article posted on Golf.com, Faxon writes of his belief that Commissioner Tim Finchem, in a teleconference being held at 5 p.m. Monday, will urge the tour's Policy Board to formally oppose the ban.
Faxon writes:

I believe ... that Finchem's stance will be that the PGA Tour is in a good place, that a rules controversy over a well-established putting method does not serve the game well and that the Tour should urge the USGA to back off the proposed ban.

Faxon states his own support of the proposed ban, but also explains how controversial the proposal is within the pro ranks. If the ban goes into effect, many players are going to be angry and disappointed; if the ban doesn't go into effect, many players are going to be angry and disappointed.

Faxon believes Finchem and the Policy Board will express opposition to the USGA in an attempt to make the USGA back off the ban. Faxon writes:

The most heavy-handed way he could persuade the USGA to drop the proposed ban, and I would normally never describe Tim Finchem as heavy-handed, would be by convincing the Tour Policy Board on Monday that the Tour should tell the USGA the following: If the USGA goes through with this ban, the PGA Tour will very likely consider creating our own condition of competition that will allow anchored putting on the PGA Tour, the WEB.com tour and Champions tour. If that happens, there will be chaos. The USGA could quickly lose its authority as the governing body of American golf.

That's a worst-case scenario that fractures the golf world. It's one that Faxon doesn't believe will happen, but he's not all that confident about it:

One way or the other, whether the USGA goes ahead with the ban or withdraws it, the Tour would much rather operate under an established set of rules and not make the rules. The Tour has never governed the game. It has enough to do as it is.

In the end, I believe the USGA will not back off the proposed ban, and that the ban will be accepted on the PGA Tour. I have to think that the USGA anticipated this level of pushback from the Tour. But it really is also possible that the USGA will back down. It's so hard to know. This is completely unchartered territory.

The full Faxon article is well worth reading.

Update: Jim Furyk told GolfChannel.com that the policy board will likely issue a formal reply within a few days.


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